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 speed zones over 60km/h, the minimum distance is 1.5m.
Bike Rider’s Resources
How To Report Minimum Passing Distance Incidents
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 is NOT a procedure for NSW Police. It is a suggested set of actions for bicycle riders to undertake in the incidence of a close pass.
- The level of proof required by NSW Police to issue an infringement is high, ie Beyond Reasonable Doubt. This is much higher than the “Balance of Probabilities” test, and therefore the opinion of a rider is not sufficient proof. There has to be some measurable proof that the MPD has been infringed.
This Step-by-Step Guide features 4 steps:
- Initial Actions
- Report the Incident
- Follow Up
- Bicycle NSW Review
Rule 144–1 NSW rule: keeping a safe distance when passing bicycle rider
(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.
Rule 144–2 NSW rule: exceptions for passing bicycle rider
(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: