Shire of Dardanup looks to ban cyclists from Harris Road

As a result of the state government’s safe passing laws, the Shire of Dardanup are looking at banning cyclists from Harris Road.

Shire of Dardanup chief executive officer Mark Chester said the ban would be put in place to improve safety. 

“This is because it is unsafe for cyclists as the road is a heavy vehicle route to and from the industrial area and to the farming properties east of the industrial area,” he said. 

“The road shoulders are currently not wide enough for trucks to pass cyclists safely while abiding by the new separation rule.

“The Shire has plans to widen the road, however more funding will be required for all roads to make it safer for all users.

“It is the responsibility of all road users to be aware of their surroundings and to make decisions that are safe for themselves and other users.”

Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts said the implementation of the safe passing law was being monitored by the Road Safety Commission.

“I’m a little concerned about the Shire of Dardanup’s decision, because even before the introduction of the one-metre rule there has always been the legal requirement for trucks and any other vehicle to leave a safe distance when passing a cyclist,” she said. 

“Trucks, bicycles and other vehicles have shared the roads in this state for decades without an issue, and there has always been the requirement to leave a safe passing distance.

“In most cases, things can be resolved through consultation, so I would encourage the Shire to have that consultation with the Road Safety Commission and see if there’s a better solution.”

The law was enacted on November 30, 2017, states a driver of a motor vehicle must pass a bicycle travelling in the same direction at a distance of one metre when travelling 60kmh or under and 1.5 metres when travelling more than 60kmh. Bunbury MLA Don Punch said people needed to look out for each other on the road and he hoped that common sense would prevail. 

“There’s been an enormous investment in cycleways and laneways already,” he said. “You will never have every road fit for everyone on the roads safely – what is required is sensible practice between riders and drivers.” 

Have your say, will a ban make the road safer? Email editor.bun burymail@fairfaxmedia.com.au