Bicycle safety charity the Amy Gillett Foundation is calling on all motorists to make sure they stay at least a metre away from cyclists on Fatality Free Friday.
New research just conducted in Queensland shows that the introduction of the one-metre rule legislation is widely supported and is changing behaviour.
Queenslanders overwhelmingly support laws governing minimum overtaking distances when passing bicycle riders, a new public opinion survey has found.
Almost two-thirds of bicycle riders in Queensland have noticed an increase in the space drivers give them since the Queensland Government’s landmark trial legislation, known as the one-metre rule, was introduced in April 2014.
The results have been welcomed by bicycle safety charity, the Amy Gillett Foundation, who commissioned the research.
“The latest research shows the Queensland Government is absolutely on the right track with this legislation,” said Amy Gillett Foundation CEO Belinda Clark.
“The Queensland Government has not only trialled the legislation but backed it with a highly successful advertising campaign – “Staying Wider of the Rider,” she said.
Three-quarters of Queenslanders support the new laws and believe the “Stay Wider of the Rider” campaign is effective in communicating the legislation.
Ms Clark said while changing the law had resulted in drivers giving riders a wider berth, the survey showed driver attitudes were also more positive.
“The findings reinforce anecdotal evidence that there has been a marked improvement in the space drivers give to bicycle riders since the introduction of the legislation.
“We think that bicycle riders are safer as a result but there is still work to be done.
“While around three-quarters of Queenslanders support the legislation and believe 'Stay Wider of the Rider' to be an effective message, one in three are still unaware of the legislation and less than one in five people could recall the campaign unprompted.
Ms Clark said the survey also showed there was no longer a “them and us”, or a great divide between the interests of bicycle riders or drivers; increasingly, they were both.
“Nearly one fifth of Queenslanders ride a bicycle at least once a week, and that is increasing.
“At the same time bicycle riders drive as regularly as the general population - almost 9 out of 10 drive once a week or more often, more than 7 in 10 drive most days, and almost half drive every day
“While the Foundation has long campaigned on ‘a metre matters’ we all have the same aim here – to make our roads safer for everyone, and we are working together to achieve that,” Ms Clark said.
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Queensland minimum overtaking distance trial: public opinion research May 2015
About the research
The Amy Gillett Foundation commissioned Crosby|Textor to conduct market research into community awareness and perceptions of the minimum overtaking distance trial in Queensland (commenced April 2014) whereby Queensland road rules require drivers to leave a minimum of one metre when overtaking bicycle riders at speeds of up to 60kph and 1.5 metres at speeds over 60kph.
The first tranche of public opinion research was conducted in October 2014, six months after the legislation was introduced and the second tranche (reported here) in April 2015, 12 months after the legislation was introduced.
An online survey was conducted between 7-12 April 2015 amongst 400 randomly-selected Queensland residents (living in both Brisbane and regional Queensland), including ‘drivers’, with quotas of ‘frequent drivers’ (who drive everyday) and ‘only drivers’ (who do not ride a bicycle at least once a month), and ‘bicycle riders’ who ride at least once a month or more. The sample included minimum quotas and data weighting on area, sex, age and bicycle riding to ensure accurate representation. The margin of error at 95% confidence is +/-4.9%.
Three in four Queenslanders (76%) support the legislation, an increase of 9% since October 2014. Support is consistent across all groups surveyed, including ‘all drivers’ at 73% and ‘frequent drivers’ at 74%. Just 13% disagreed with the legislation, down from 16% in 2014, and 11% neither agreed nor disagreed, down from 16% in 2014.
Compared with 12 months ago Brisbane ‘bicycle riders’ feel drivers are giving them more space on the road with 65% of bicycle riders observing an increase in space drivers give when they are overtaking, up from 58% in November 2014. This is more so the case in metropolitan areas with 71% of those surveyed perceiving drivers to be giving them more space, compared to the rest of Queensland at 59%.
‘All road users’ (drivers and bicycle riders) are more aware of bicycle riders on the road and are noticing drivers allowing more room when overtaking bicycle riders. 57% of all road users agree they are more aware of bicycle riders when driving on the road, 54% of all road users agree they have observed drivers giving bicycle riders more room when overtaking and 50% of all road users have observed more bicycle riders on the road. 34% of all road users reported more empathy towards bicycle riders and 29% of all road users observed fewer incidents of tension between drivers and bicycle riders.
Amongst ‘bicycle riders’, the perception of increased space given by drivers has increased in 2015 with 65% of Brisbane bicycle riders reporting experiencing greater distance from overtaking drivers.
More than two-thirds of Queenslanders (69%) were aware of the legislation and 36% had specific awareness of the required distance (one metre) for overtaking bicycle riders up to 60kph. 20% of all road users identified 1.5 metres as the recommended overtaking distance at speeds of more than 60kph.
There has been an increase in the perception of the effectiveness of the Stay Wider of the Rider campaign amongst Queenslanders with 75% agreeing it communicated the legislation clearly, up from 67% in 2014. 49% of road users could recall the Stay Wider of the Rider campaign unprompted. Recall was higher in metropolitan (53%) compared with regional areas (45%). 33% of all road users recalled the Stay Wider of the Rider graphic with 69% saying it was effective at communicating the importance of giving adequate space between cars and bicycle riders. 38% of all road users recalled the Stay Wider of the Rider radio advertisement and 76% agreed that it was effective at communicating the message about adequate space for bicycle riders.
Amy Gillett Foundation
Suite G.02, 616 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne Victoria 3004 P: 03 9533 3180 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.amygillett.org.au ABN: 46 200 981 503 / ACN: 118 522 375
Amy Gillett Foundation
The Amy Gillett Foundation is a charity with one purpose – reducing the incidence of death and injury of bike riders.
The Foundation was born out of tragedy, the death of Amy Gillett, who was hit by an out of control motorist whilst cycling with her National Team mates in Germany. Since our inception we have been a catalyst for change, focused on what should be, rather than what is. That’s why we have set ambitious aims and outcomes.
Our Mission is for: Safe cycling in Australia
Our Vision: Zero bike rider fatalities
M: 0405 249425