Brisbane, Queensland: Bicycle Queensland and the Queensland Police Service have today unveiled a new enforcement protocol to help strengthen statewide compliance with Safe Passing Laws.
The protocol has been jointly developed by BQ and the QPS to improve outcomes for people who ride bikes on Queensland roads, and being seen as a model for other state governments and police departments to follow and indeed implement.
It includes an online learning tool, new ‘Stay Wider of the Rider’ graphics on police vehicles, and materials and guidelines to assist officers with gathering evidence.
Praise For The Queensland Police Service
Bicycle Queensland CEO Anne Savage commended the Queensland Police Service for stepping up on safe passing.
“This is a major step forward for cycling safety in Queensland,” she said.
“This program of work is a lifesaving initiative for 800,000 of us who ride our bikes every week, and will help to give Queenslanders who drive much clearer guidance on how to safely pass cyclists on Queensland roads.
“Our aim is to promote statewide awareness of Safe Passing Laws among the Queensland Police Service to ensure the laws are understood and enforced.
“For too long Queenslanders who ride bicycles have felt vulnerable and unprotected. This initiative will help to change that.”
Nearly 800 cyclists are injured on Queensland roads each year, costing the economy over $220 million annually, beyond the incalculable cost of family grief and devastation.
“Side swipe collisions from close passes are a common factor in cycling fatalities and serious injuries, and need to be urgently addressed,” Ms Savage said. “We all have a role to play in creating a healthier, happier future for Queensland and ensuring that our laws are fairly enforced and observed.”
Ms Savage said the package will be a game-changer for cyclists around Australia.
“(It will give) other states a model to follow for the promotion of safe cycling and responsible driving, towards our target of zero deaths and serious injuries,” she said.
“This initiative is one of the keys to help get Queenslanders cycling, safely, and goes hand in hand with encouragement programs and ongoing increased investment in bicycle infrastructure and road upgrades.
“It will also enhance data capture and reporting, so that the QPS can more actively monitor and report on the number of complaints received and the number of drivers issued with infringements, in order to help educate and penalise any drivers who may repeatedly break the law or be the subject of a complaint.”
A regional trial of the package commenced on Monday August 27 in Bundaberg as part of Queensland Road Safety Week.
Stay Wider of the Rider decals will be placed on police vehicles across Queensland, reminding road users of the campaign.
The program materials will include tools for officers in the field, to assist with roadside measurements and handling of video and camera materials.
“This not only raises the national standard, it sets a new international benchmark in cycling safety and responsible law enforcement – I look forward to working with the QPS to see this protocol delivered on the ground.
“We must make our roads safe for cyclists – this is an important turning point.”