Cyclists may feel safer and less vulnerable under proposed new laws

Out on the road: it's easy to feel vulnerable after a spate of bad news. Photo: Michelle Mossop

WA drivers may have to leave a minimum of one metre between their cars and cyclists under new rules introduced to parliament to curb accidents.

WA Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren will introduce the Road Traffic Amendment Bill on Thursday.  Meanwhile, cycling advocates have gathered on the steps of Parliament to rally for the legislation, which they say will help to better protect them on the roads.

Six cyclists died on WA roads last year and more than 1300 cyclists required hospital treatment for injuries suffered in accidents.

Under the new bill, motorists travelling at 60km/h would be forced to leave a metre between their car and cyclists when overtaking and 1.5 metres if they are travelling on roads with faster speed limits.

Ms MacLaren said the one metre rule is already being trialled in Queensland.

"I really don't see why the Barnett Government would hesitate to implement a simple road rule which can prevent serious injury and save lives," Ms MacLaren said.

"Greens MPs in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia have been working on similar Bills. Our goal is to establish national road rules to increase cycling safety and participation for all ages."

Greens Senator for WA Scott Ludlam, who has just been awarded a Planning Institute of Australia national award for his planning for Perth, including the development of the Greens Bike Vision, said: "This is an important and timely Bill that complements the Greens Bike Vision plan for the metropolitan bike network."