Cyclists urge drivers to pass with care

Bike Safe Macedon Ranges members (l to r) David Curwood, Margaret Douglas and Andrew Smeal. Picture: Shawn Smits.

Bike Safe Macedon Ranges is pleading with drivers to look out and ‘‘stay wide” of cyclists after recent incidents on local roads.

Group president Margaret Douglas said one member was lucky to be alive after ending up on the windscreen of a car after being struck on Station Road, New Gisborne, on March 2.

This comes after a string of crashes late last year involving riders, who were hit from behind in clear conditions, while wearing bright clothing and with bike lights on.

‘‘The majority of drivers are doing the right thing, but some are not,’’ Ms Douglas said.

‘‘So often, people are in the habit of looking for trucks and so on, but not cyclists.’’

Ms Douglas said the effects of such incidents extended beyond physical injuries, often creating significant emotional and financial stress.

Bike Safe Macedon Ranges is preparing a submission to a state government probe into possible minimum passing distance laws.

Ms Douglas said the group wanted a 1.5 metre minimum distance between cyclists and vehicles on roads with a speed limit of more than 60km/h, and one metre when speeds are less than 60km/h.

‘‘Many think the risks to cyclists are mainly in the city, but our riders are often put in significant danger due to things like hills, winding roads and higher speed limits in the country,’’ she said.

Macedon Ranges council mayor Graham Hackett said sharing thoroughfares was a two-way street. ‘‘All road users have a responsibility to not only obey the road rules, but to be respectful of one another,’’ he said.

Data shows four claims lodged with the Transport Accident Commission by cyclists in Macedon Ranges have involved hospitalisation, and 16 in Hume, in the past five years. Submissions to the review close April 1.

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