Saving Lives Together

How is the one metre rule working for you?

Western Australian drivers and cyclists now have another opportunity to share their thoughts on the State Government’s Minimum Passing Distance Regulation for cyclists.

21 Jan 2019
To improve road safety for cyclists and encourage courtesy on the roads among cyclists and drivers, the Minimum Passing Distance Regulation was introduced in Western Australia in November 2017.

The law requires drivers to give cyclists a safe passing distance of:
  • 1 metre on roads up to 60km/h; and
  • 1.5 metres on roads more than 60km/h.
The Road Safety Commission has engaged Cardno to conduct a two-year evaluation of the Minimum Passing Distance Regulation, which includes community input to identify trends in the level of awareness and compliance of the law.

Drivers and cyclists are encouraged to complete the two-minute survey, even if they have responded in the past, and have their say on improving road safety for cyclists and promote safe interactions on the roads between cyclists and drivers.


  • Chris Howard 23/01/2019 6:54:28 AM
    I've noticed an improvement as a cyclist, and I think cyclists are less defensive as they feel safer. However there will always be a reckless and dangerous majority. For these the police must follow through on reports and fine.

  • Gary Suckling 23/01/2019 11:52:51 AM
    The fact that only a handful of people have been charged for breaking this rule indicates that the police aren’t treating the rule as a priority and until such time the general public are still relatively unaware. As always there are some motorists highly conscious and aware and the others are showing very little knowledge or regard.

  • Neil Hackett 31/01/2019 1:53:20 PM
    As a cyclist I've noticed motorists take more care to provide a sensible passing distance and as a motorist I am more aware of the legislative requirement. Multiple mature countries and international jurisdictions have this legislation to protect their citizens, why does WA have to continuously debate a common sense approach to cyclist safety and saving lives? Maybe its too much work for WAPOL, or maybe common sense just isn't that common?

  • Tom Bennet 31/01/2019 3:05:00 PM
    Reduce the number of mid road islands to allow cars (& trucks, buses) places to pass.
    Make it illegal to cycle on the road where a cycle path or lane is in place.

  • Trevor Palframan 1/02/2019 8:12:40 AM
    As a motorist I have found that it is very difficult to keep the 1m distance in some smaller streets. Traffic gets held up due to cars not able to pass legally. For safety reasons perhaps cyclists should be prohibited during the busy times on these type of streets.
    Also more has to be done to stop some cyclist blatantly breaking the law by going through red lights.

  • Alan Pugh 2/02/2019 4:38:51 PM
    Not for the first time did I come upon a group of cyclists riding 3 to 4 abreast on Gooseberry Hill Rd. They are very quick to accuse motorists of violating their space but feel they are untouchable when they break the rules. Let's introduce number plates for bikes so they can be brought to account.

  • Brendon Morrison 2/02/2019 5:15:41 PM
    This rule forces drivers who deliberately terrorise cyclists by driving close to them to think twice. It may not eliminate this kind of aggressive behaviour, but all logic says that it will reduce it.

  • Adam Maxwell 2/02/2019 5:36:21 PM
    I can't say I've noticed any difference. The idiots still make it their mission to drive close and the careful drivers give the wide berth they always did. As a driver, I've no clue how much space I'm leaving but I'm judging distance to be safe based on speed and road conditions. Amazingly I don't need legislation to encourage me to be a safe and courteous road user. Thanks

  • Helen Carter 2/02/2019 5:37:15 PM
    We’ve noticed a good improvement. Would still like to see a good police presence around the rule to keep it as a high priority. A lot more politeness and respect both ways. Please ensure it remains a meaningful law. Kind regards
    Helen Carter

  • Ian 2/02/2019 5:53:08 PM
    I am across the board on this one. As a cyclist yes some drivers invade the 1 metre zone but also as a car and truck driver it is amazing how many cyclists fail to keep left and ride a metre from the curb and then still want over a metre clearance which then also puts the driver in harms way. Them another pet peeve is when I am out running a cyclist will pass me at an unrealistic speed on a shared path at very close proximity. Also no use of a bell mind you and is not a bell mandatory? Now I ask as a member of all of these groups as I am sure to guarantee a lot of us are, should we not stop pointing the finger and tighten up our cyclist brethren first and then systematically work our way thru the groups.

  • Debra Graham 2/02/2019 6:05:55 PM
    Most drivers are courteous some are not. Even when cyclists are riding single file drivers get frustrated trying pass when there are islands in the middle of the road that make it impossible to do it safely. State Government and local Councils need to work together to make it practical and safer for both drivers and cyclists.

  • Anthony Georgeff 2/02/2019 6:28:49 PM
    I’ve noticed a distinct change in driving habits as a cyclist and this has shown me that most drivers are highly responsible and the law has helped formalise their behaviour. There is still a minority of drivers that don’t and I’d like to see more active enforcement of that and more follow up in cyclist video footage.
    I also appreciate that this has clarified overtaking rules as many drivers think they were entitled to squeeze past in a single lane, putting the cyclist at risk.
    So thanks, it encourages more cycling, gets more cars off the roads, and has reinforced that raids are things to be shared amongst multiple modes of transport. It also helps me and other people in bikes get home safely.

  • Jeff Maher 2/02/2019 6:33:23 PM
    I find that vehicles now are very much more aware of giving space when passing a cyc;ist. It feels safer riding now however the way many streets are designed with islands and trees in the middle it can create congestion for larger vehicles and say Transperth Buses. I think cyclists also are more conscientious of keeping over so vehicles can pass as well. No one wants to hold up traffic and most of us prefer to avoid the busy roads where possible but I think most drivers are very aware now of their obligations which adds to all our safety.

  • Matt Adams 2/02/2019 6:51:48 PM
    I noticed a change in driver's behavior almost straight away. People seem to be at least thinking about how they are going to overtake. Will take time.

  • NICK VROOMANS 2/02/2019 7:20:19 PM
    Most peole follow laws, rules and regulations and in general there has been an improvement on the roads in regard to cyclist awareness. As in States which have had these laws for some time, drivers and cyclists here will take a while to fully understand and embrace these requirements. In the mean time, there is still far too little education on the matter for existing motorists, and coupled with a reluctance by Police to adequately follow up on rider complaints, the situation is not likely to improve at an acceptable pace.

  • Stephen Lees 2/02/2019 8:22:37 PM
    I recently got a Fly6 fitted to the back of my bike and watching some of the footage it is obvious that most drivers are doing the right thing. In seven rides throughout January, I can only remember one close pass, but when viewed on the video, he was most likely the one metre it just felt closer. I've always been reasonably confident on the road, but I feel that the laws have improved things with drivers more aware of distances.

  • Hayden Shenton 2/02/2019 11:31:41 PM
    I am finding a lot (perhaps majority) of the road bikes around the Canning Bridge area do not even meet road regulation. No bells or reflectors as required and bad colours for visibility. Even outfits contrary to making selves visible. Unfortunately with the new laws cyclists choose pedestrian ways and road at a whim which has shown appalling arrogance. I viewed the most recent available statistics on side swipes over a five year period and was surprised at the lack of incidents. Perhaps if cyclists respected the then existing laws, showed better courtesy and appreciated their vulnerability we may not have needed the mandatory distance laws.

  • James Shepherd 3/02/2019 6:51:36 AM
    My experience is that the rule has had 2 effects....firstly and positively the considerate majority of drivers wait and pass in accordance with the rule often giving more room than the required distances for which I am grateful.....secondly and depressingly the inconsiderate minority (who we notice more as cyclists due to the risks) now pass as close as possible, sometimes seem to enjoy that they are putting lives at risk and continue to complain about cyclists having unequal rights etc....what is most demoralising about the minority is that trucks are still the worst offenders.

  • Dominic Beeson 3/02/2019 7:00:42 AM
    Marked improvement until there is an island in the road then it seems cars just have to squeeze through. May be some further education is required

  • Chris Smith 3/02/2019 7:52:40 AM
    As a cyclist and driver, I appreciate that in urban streets with central reservations it is really difficult to pass and relies on common sense from all parties, as a driver I just accept I’m going to be delayed, as a cyclist I pull out of the way as soon as possible.

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