A NEW Transport Accident Commission (TAC) campaign is calling on Victorian drivers to ensure the safety of cyclists on the road by slowing down and allowing enough space when passing.
The campaign urges drivers to ‘give the space to ride safe,’ recommending at least a 1m safety zone when passing cyclists in speed zones up to 60km/h, and at least 1.5m at higher speeds.
Central to the campaign is a new television ad that depicts three scenarios where cyclists are being passed by vehicles in different road environments.
The ad provides visual cues to show a safe passing distance, with each rider spreading their arms between the end of their bike’s handlebars and the passing vehicle’s side mirror.
According to the latest TAC figures, cyclists are 34 times more likely to be seriously injured than vehicle occupants, and 4.5 times more likely to be killed in a crash.
Last year, eight cyclists died in crashes on Victorian roads while 421 riders were hospitalised with injuries.
TAC road safety lead director, Samantha Cockfield said, “This public education campaign is designed to help drivers of cars and heavy vehicles to understand the minimum space to leave when passing a person riding a push bike.
“The vast majority of drivers do willingly give space when they pass a cyclist, but people can be unsure of the guidelines on just how much distance they should leave between their vehicle and a rider.
“It is also important that motorists slow down when passing someone on a bike, while it’s equally important that riders ensure they are highly visible, predictable and wearing good protective gear,” Ms Cockfield said.