New regulations regarding motorists and cyclists will come into effect in South Australia on 25 October 2015. Under the new regulations motorists will be required to keep at least 1 metre from a cyclist where the speed is 60 km per hour or less and 1.5 metres when the speed is over 60 km per hour.
The gap is measured from the widest point of the bicycle or cyclist and the left hand part of the car which is usually the wing mirror. Motorists breaching the new minimum distance rule will face a $347 fine and be docked 2 demerit points.
In addition motorists will be able to drive to the right of the road and cross over a double line to overtake cyclists if the driver has a clear view and it is safe to do so.
Additionally, cyclists over the age of 12 years will now be allowed to ride on the foot path. No speed limit has been set for footpaths but cyclists must ride with due care. This part of the regulations may be challenged as some bodies are seeking a mandated speed limit for cyclists on footpaths.
The changes are set to be introduced by Government regulations therefore avoiding the need for Parliamentary debate. These rules were as a result of a Citizen’s Jury backed by Jay Weatherill and designed to encourage both motorists and cyclists to share the road safely. These laws have been in effect in Queensland for a 2 year trial and are being considered for Victoria, Western Australia and the ACT.