New tech to protect cyclists from road-hogging drivers

NEW technology is being tested that would better allow police to crack down on motorists who drive too close to cyclists.

The law in Queensland states drivers must leave at least one metre between them and a rider when passing or risk a hefty fine.

It's a rule that's difficult to enforce or even measure.

But new technology being tested by Queensland University's car research arm "CARRS-Q" could change that.

CARRS-Q will now test bicycle-mounted sensors and video capture technology as part of the two month trial, after winning a Queensland Government tender.

Road Safety Minister Mark Baily said it would help keep all road users safe by ensuring some distance is kept between riders and drivers.

The trial will begin early next year, and last for about two months.

CARRS-Q director Narelle Haworth said cyclists were already being given more room by drivers, but it can be hard to gauge whether it was one metre or 1.5m.

"The new research will test how well devices on the market can do this."

The minimum passing distance is measured from the right-most part of the bicycle or the cyclist and the left-most part of the vehicle or object protruding from the vehicle, including a side mirror.

The law was controversial when introduced in April 2014.

In the months that followed, then-Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the law would be a two-year trial depending on how practical it was to enforce.


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