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Bike SA CEO, Christian Haag, looks at recent survey results on South Australia’s new cycling laws. 

Thanks to all those who took the time to respond to our survey on the new road rules. You may recall that we undertook our first survey one week after the introduction of the new rules and our most recent survey reflects your opinions at the three-month mark. 

So what’s the verdict? In a nutshell: over the previous three months, motorists have responded well to the mandatory metre requirements but there is an increasing sense that behaviours are starting to slide back to the bad habits of not leaving a safe distance when passing cyclists. 

Frequent comments pointed to heavier vehicles (busses, trucks and vans) continue to be highlighted as not being as responsive to the new laws as motorists.

This is not particularly surprising and certainly mirrors the Queensland experience. Complacency inevitably consumes the initial positive behavioural changes.

We will undertake another survey at the six-month mark.

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As was reported in the Advertiser on Tuesday 15 March, SAPOL had issued just three fines since the three-month grace period ended. Police play a vital role through both education and enforcement in ensuring motorist behaviours don’t continue to slide and we certainly encourage them to maintain a high level of vigilance in this area.

Survey Fast Facts

Respondents

75% male

25% female

93% of respondents riding at least 1-2 days a week

Have you noticed a difference in motorists’ providing a safe distance (of at least a metre) – in areas where speed limits are less than 60km/h

70% Better

28% Same

Have you noticed a difference in motorists’ providing a safe distance (of at least a 1.5 metres) – where speed limits are above 60km/h

47% better

51% same 

Have you noticed motorists using the opportunity to drive to the right of the dividing line when overtaking as permitted by the new rules?

78% Yes

Have the new mandatory passing rules encouraged you to ride on the road more often than before?

74% No

Is the opportunity to legally ride on footpaths likely to make you ride more because you feel safer?

40% yes

The ability to ride on footpaths is transforming female access to safer riding with 70% of women indicating they had taken the opportunity to ride on the footpath.

Become a member of Bike SA today and help create safer cycling conditions.