Pure joy for Amy’s family as South Australia says a metre matters
Amy Gillett’s home state of South Australia has declared itself a leader in bike rider safety, becoming the third jurisdiction to commit to legislating a minimum overtaking distance of one metre for drivers overtaking bike riders.
Premier Jay Weatherill announced his support of minimum overtaking distance, in response to the suite of recommendations handed down to by the South Australian Citizens’ Jury on the topic: Motorists and Cyclists will always be using our roads – What things could we trial to ensure they share the roads safely?
Amy’s mother Mary Safe thanked the South Australian Government for their pledge to improve bike rider safety during a significant year for her family and the Amy Gillett Foundation.
“My heart is filled with pure joy with the Government’s commitment to implement safe passing distance laws in Amy’s home state, it’s such a watershed moment ten years after her death,” Mary said. “I ask South Australians to embrace this new law so we have a legacy of respect for all who share our roads.”
Amy Gillett Foundation CEO Tracey Gaudry congratulated the South Australian Government on their leadership in implementing the legislative change targeted at improving safety for all road users.
“In 2014, 45 people lost their lives while riding a bike on Australian roads and research has confirmed the most common bike rider fatality crash type is being hit from behind by a motor vehicle travelling in the same direction,” Gaudry said.
“We applaud the South Australian Government for recognising that refining existing laws to provide a measurable benchmark for safe overtaking distance is the leading action needed to reduce these tragedies.”
The Amy Gillett Foundation’s a metre matters campaign has spearheaded the national effort for state and territory governments to improve road rules to specify minimum distances for overtaking bike riders.
Santos Tour Down Under favourite Richie Porte launched the national a metre matters petition, co-signed by Cadel Evans and Anna Meares, at the National Road Championships in January 2014.
“With a boom in recreational cycling over the last decade, it’s vitally important that bike riders are protected on our roads,” Porte said. “We know that space matters when passing bike riders and it’s good to see the government refining existing laws to provide clarity for drivers when overtaking bike riders.”
Premier Weatherill responded to ten Jury recommendations, supporting seven in full. The Foundation welcomed the Government’s commitment to introduce formal cycling education in both primary and secondary schools, include questions on bike riding in learner driver licence testing, and deliver a collaborative safe roads awareness campaign.
The Foundation will also support the South Australian Government and local councils in trialling reduced speeds and altered traffic flow in the CBD and local neighbourhoods.
The Amy Gillett Foundation was actively involved in the Citizens’ Jury process and is committed to supporting the South Australian Government in implementing these changes.
“Collaboration is critical to improving attitudes and behaviour throughout the community and we will continue to be actively involved in South Australia, providing support to ensure these recommendations will be effective in saving lives,” Gaudry said.
A metre matters - www.amygillett.org.au/minimum-overtaking-distance
QLD market research findings - http://www.amygillett.org.au/qld-overtaking-distance-market-research/
A metre matters petition - http://www.amygillett.org.au/portesignspetition/
Citizens’ Jury report - www.yoursay.sa.gov.au/yoursay/cycling-citizens-jury
About the Amy Gillett Foundation
The Amy Gillett Foundation was born out of tragedy, the death of Amy Gillett, who was hit by an out of control driver while training with her Australian cycling teammates in July 2005. The Foundation is a catalyst for change, driven by our Manifesto for safer bike riding in Australia, to reduce the incidence of death and injury of bicycle riders.
About a metre matters
The Amy Gillett Foundation’s a metre matters campaign has spearheaded the national effort for state and territory governments to improve road rules to specify minimum distances for overtaking bike riders. The Queensland Government implemented a two-year minimum overtaking distance legislative trial in 2014 and the ACT Government has committed to trialling the legislation this year.