The trialling of mandatory minimum overtaking distances for motor vehicles overtaking cyclists was a key recommendation of the New Zealand Cycle Safety Panel in 2014.
CAN is represented on an Opus / NZTA advisory panel.
- People on bikes often say close passing puts them off cycling
- NZ research will help ensure decisions on overtaking gaps are based on evidence
- Having a public conversation can help foster safer behaviour
- A rule on minimum overtaking gaps is not a magic fix, but is part of a package of measures to make cycling safer and more attractive
- NZ has minimum following distances. A rule on overtaking gaps is similar.
From NZTA, 2016
The NZ Transport Agency has engaged Opus Research to investigate the feasibility and possible implications of introducing mandatory minimum overtaking gaps for cyclists, together with a behaviour change programme encouraging motorists to give a safe overtaking gap when passing people on bikes.
The Opus research will help to inform decisions on whether to proceed with a trial of mandatory minimum overtaking distances. Along with investigation of what's happening overseas the research will use state-of-art sensor technology on bikes that measure speed and passing distance. The bikes will also have video cameras.
This investigation will increase our understanding of what safe passing distances are, and how they could be trialled. The research findings are due by 30 September 2016.
From Opus research
NZTA is looking to explore how motorists and cyclists interact on the road and what impact this has on cyclist safety and comfort. They have contracted Opus to study this, and CAN is an important contributor, examining such issues as-
- When do motorists choose to overtake cyclists?
- How close do they travel behind and next to cyclists?
- How fast do they overtake cyclists?
- How do all these driving behaviours impact the rider's safety and comfort?