In March 2016, the NSW Government introduced a new Road Rule stipulating the Minimum Passing Distance (MPD) the driver of a vehicle must give when overtaking a bike rider on NSW Roads. In areas that are 60km or lower speed limits, vehicles must pass cyclists with at least 1m of distance between their vehicle and the rider. In 70km or faster speed zones, the minimum distance is 1.5m. You can read How to Apply the Minimum Passing Distance when driving a vehicle on our Give A Metre page.
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We know a number of riders do not have cameras on their bikes and are as such unable to make a successful MPD report to Police. To fill this gap, we have created an MPD breach record. All bike riders are able to record their close pass experiences and help us paint an accurate picture of how many drivers do not understand and adhere to the new laws.
A Step-by-Step Guide
This downloadable procedure has been written by Bicycle NSW subsequent to the meetings held with Police and Transport for NSW throughout 2016. It was agreed that a procedure should be put in place whereby photo and video evidence of a possible Minimum Passing Distance (MPD) offence can be presented to Police for action.
It should be noted:
This Step-by-Step Guide features 4 steps:
Bicycle NSW continues participate in Transport for NSW’s "Bicycle Rider Communications Working Group" which meets on a semi regular basis. Representatives from the Amy Gillett Foundation have also attended these working group meetings, and the NRMA and Cycling NSW have been invited to participate.
A series of informational articles will be prepared to further educate bike riders on actions they can take to ensure they can assist in the further enforcement of the Minimum Passing Distance legislation.
The Minimum Passing Distance legislation is contained within Road Rule 144-1. This rule is an additional NSW rule. There is no corresponding rule in the Australian Road Rules.
The NSW Government will continue to produce and make available materials and campaigns to educate all road users on the current laws and how they apply to their mode of transport.
(1) The driver of a motor vehicle driving past to the right of a bicycle that is travelling on a road in the same direction as the motor vehicle must pass the bicycle at a safe distance from the bicycle.
Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.
(2) A safe distance from the bicycle is:
(a) if the speed limit applying to the driver of the motor vehicle for the length of the road is not more than 60 kilometres per hour—a distance of at least 1 metre, or
(b) if the speed limit applying to the driver of the motor vehicle for the length of the road is more than 60 kilometres per hour—a distance of at least 1.5 metres,
measured laterally from the furthest right side of the bicycle to the furthest left side of the motor vehicle or any part of the vehicle (including anything attached to or projecting from the vehicle).
(3) For the purposes of subrule (2), bicycle includes any bicycle trailer towed by the bicycle, the rider or any passenger on the bicycle or in or on the trailer and any basket or pannier bags attached to the bicycle or trailer, but does not include any flag or stick (whether or not flexible) attached to and projecting sideways from the bicycle or trailer.
(1) The driver of a motor vehicle driving past to the right of a bicycle that is travelling on a road in the same direction as the motor vehicle may, if it is necessary in order to comply with rule 144–1 while passing the bicycle, do any of the following but only if the driver can do so safely and has a clear view of any approaching traffic: