A large proportion of Queensland drivers knowingly ignore the state’s close pass law, according to a recent study. The news comes as a government agency probes allegations of lax policing after a cyclist who repeatedly complained about close passing motorists was killed on the roads last month.
Forbes reports that an online survey of 3,769 drivers was carried out a year after Queensland’s minimum passing distance law was introduced.
In speed zones of 60km/h or under, 35.5 per cent of drivers said they didn’t allow the stipulated 1.5m when passing a cyclist. The proportion was 31.8 per cent for roads where the limit was above 60km/h.
Among the reasons given for being non-compliant were that the driver only infrequently observed other motorists allowing that much room when overtaking cyclists; disagreement that the rule had made it safer for cyclists; and that allowing that much space was “annoying.”
Last month, Cameron Frewer, the founder of the Drive Safe, Pass Wide Facebook, lost his life following a collision with a pick-up truck on the Sunshine Coast. He had written an open letter complaining that Queensland police had ignored his complaints about close passing drivers just days before he was killed.
Queensland ministers have since referred the concerns to an independent authority for examination.