Give a Metre – How to apply the Minimum Passing Distance Rule

Bicycle NSW launches Give a Metre hands on experience

In 2016, Bicycle NSW received a small Community Road Safety Grant to develop the Give a Metre experience. A hands on activity for every day people to test their ability to accurately assess and give the Minimum Passing Distance when safely passing a bicycle rider on the roads. The experience asks people to pretend to be the driver and position themselves where they believe their vehicle would be giving the bike rider an appropriate amount of space.

The experience has surprised many when they discover just how little room they have been giving bike riders when they pass, and are now more able to visually assess the minimum distance they need to give bike riders. We have produced a brochure for participants to take home which outline how the new Minimum Passing Distance Rule works on NSW roads.
This hands on experience can also be modified to challenge bike riders to identify how much space they give a pedestrian when passing them on a Shared Path.

The kit will be made available to our Affiliated BUGs to use at community events and festivals, or at their Local Council activities to help give people across the state, the chance to test their skills and ensure they feel safe in the knowledge that they can safely give bike riders the space they need on the road while managing to help traffic flow through our cities and towns.

The Minimum Passing Distance Rule

In March 2016, the NSW State Government introduced a new Road Rule requiring a Minimum Passing Distance for drivers overtaking bike riders. The Rule has been effective in other states and provides motorists the ability to safely give vulnerable road users the space they need on the roads.

Bicycle NSW advocated strongly for the Minimum Passing Distance Rule and continues to work to ensure a greater understanding for all road users on how to share our roads. We are proud to deliver our Give A Metre campaign to help all road users understand how this Rule works and how they help to create harmony on our roads.

What is the Minimum Passing Distance Rule?
Details about the Rule and the Government 'Go Together' campaign educating on the Rule can be found on the Centre for Road Safety's website.
Below we will outline the basic information and examples of how and when the Rule can be applied.

The new Rule states the drivers of motor vehicles must give a minimum amount of space when overtaking a bike rider. When driving where the speed limit is 60km/h or less, vehicles must give at least 1 metre of space to the bicycle as the vehicle passes.

When driving where the speed limit is more than 60km/h, vehicles must give at least 1.5 metres of space to the bicycle as the vehicle passes.
That means between the widest part of the vehicle and the widest part of the bicycle and rider must be at least 1 - 1.5 metres of space.

Have you experienced a close pass or a driver not giving the minimum passing distance when overtaking?

Bicycle NSW produced a guide for bicycle riders to use sharing information on recording and reporting breaches of the Minimum Passing Distance Rule to the NSW Police. To read the guide, visit our MPD page.