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Earlwood-Bardwell Park RSL

DHBC's Committee established the MPD Initiative in May 2018, grassroots advocacy focussing on enforcement of Minimum Passing Distance. This was grounded in a Strategic Plan, which mapped out a series of positive and constructive actions. The objective is to significantly raise public acceptance and Police enforcement of the Minimum Passing Distance road rule in NSW within two years.

The MPD Initiative has achieved more eyeballs, likes and shares than the million dollar "Go Together" public awareness campaign, for less than $200:

  • Three successful Freedom of Information responses (from NSW Police and RMS)
  • A dozen media articles including local/state/national newspapers, ABC radio and Bicycling Australia
  • Winning a Community Road Safety Grant for $10,000 from Transport for NSW
  • Ten thousand online signatures at the Petition for Safe Passing Distance (with 800 supporter comments)

The NSW trial of Safe Passing Distance began in March 2016 and successfully completed with a 15% reduction in bicycle-to-vehicle casualty crashes. There is now a permanent road rule requiring drivers to give at least 1.0 metre of clearance when passing bikes (speed limit up to 60kph) and at least 1.5 metres for faster roads. However, there have been no NSW Police operations to target MPD and only 71 infringements have been issued during two and a half years.  Safe Passing Distance should be an effective deterrent against dangerously close passes, not just an additional fine after a cyclist has been injured or killed on the road...

Minimum Passing Distance is now getting a higher profile, with momentum continuing to build six months into the MPD Initiative. Our Club is being recognised at the forefront of Cycling Road Safety. There is broad and growing support for better awareness and enforcement of Safe Passing Distance.

Our MPD Initiative involves actions within the Club, plus working constructively with Cycling NSW, other bike clubs and other cycling groups to achieve positive change. Here are some of the constructive actions that you can join...

Petition for Safe Passing Distance

This online petition was launched in mid-late August, and has been a huge success. It has brought together a very diverse range of cycling groups (Bike Clubs, BUGs, representative bodies, online forums and peak advocacy organisations), as well as concerned citizens and ordinary bike riders. The Petition for Safe Passing Distance has achieved ten thousand signatories in less than three months, and features moving comments from several hundred supporters.

If you haven't already, please sign the petition at:
https://tinyurl.com/proactiveMPD

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Local Festivals and Events

We have been holding stalls at events such as the Marrickville Festival and Big Bike Day. These outreach activities go beyond “preaching to the converted” by making Road Safety real and personal. They include a lot of good two-way conversations about sharing the road. Also helps to promote the Club and sign-up new members.

September featured the Inner West Council's Big Bike Day at War Memorial Park, Leichhardt. While the Marrickville Festival was a highlight of October, promoting the Club and reaching out to our local community. These events have showcased the MPD exercise from Bicycle NSW, plus encouraging people to sign the Petition for Safe Passing Distance as well as writing letters to their Local MP.

Drop in to the next DHBC event to come and say hello, join one of the group rides on DHBC homepage (safe bunch riding on the road) and get involved...dhbc events

Trialling the Adoption of New Technologies

Many Club Members use video recordings of their rides, such as the front and rear cameras from Cycliq (which integrate lights along with High Definition video cameras). We promote greater usage of safety equipment by Club Members and by all cyclists (cameras, lights, high visibility clothing, etc).

Two Club Members have built their own ultrasonic devices, to measure the distance between vehicles and bike riders. We have also been trialling a Close Pass Detector (CPD) from Cyclist Tom of YouTube fame. The CPD has been built from components that cost only $100-115, compared to $2,000-3,000 for commercial units! An ultrasonic sensor on the handlebars is connected to a display unit, where the passing distance is shown for 10 seconds. The CPD has been on half a dozen group rides, to give Club Members a chance to see it in operation... Two Club Members took up the offer from Cyclist Tom to have CPD units installed onto their bikes at-cost.cpd

Sticker and Poster Design Competition

We successfully applied for a Community Road Safety Grant, to fund a car bumper sticker and poster design competition. This project draws on a creative response to Safe Passing Distance and the road rule exemptions (drivers can cross unbroken lines and cross flat traffic islands, in order to comply with the MPD law, when it is safe to do so). We are partnering with the NSW Centre for Road Safety on this exciting and colourful project.

Transport for NSW has awarded $10,000 for holding this bumper sticker and poster design competition. This project encourages new messages and images, which promote Road Safety... There are several categories, open to both children and adults. The launch and closing dates will aim to attract as many entries as possible. Stay tuned!!

http://dhbc.org.au/advocacy/design-competition

Letter Writing and Marginal Seat Campaign

Dozens of letters have been sent to Ministers, Shadow Ministers, Local MPs, NSW Police and others. This has particularly focused on the local electorate of Summer Hill (where the DHBC group rides start from, and where many Club Members live), but also extends across the state...

The Marginal Seat Campaign targets 24 electorates that are likely to decide the NSW State Election on 23 March 2019. By linking up with Cycling Clubs, Bicycle User Groups and Bike Shops we have facilitated a stronger voice for cyclists via lobbying resources (such as pre-filled letter templates, which take less than five minutes to write and send).

Send a letter to your Local MP today, check if you’re in one of the 24 marginal seats, and write to Ministers or NSW Police:

Send a letter to your Local MP today, check if you’re in one of the 24 marginal seats, and write to Ministers or NSW Police:

Download your template to your local electorate today

Targeted Advocacy with Stakeholders and Decision Makers

Meetings with politicians, NSW Police, transport bureaucrats, cycling groups and others. This includes participation at the Australian Bicycle Summit and the Cycling Round Table, as well as working constructively with other Cycling Clubs, Bicycle User Groups and representative bodies (such as Cycling NSW, Bicycle NSW, Bicycle Network, Amy Gillett Foundation, Cycling Australia, We Ride Australia, Bicycles Network Australia and the Australian Cycle Alliance).

The MPD Sub Committee met with the incoming CEO of Cycling NSW (Graham Seers) shortly after he started in mid 2018. He is very supportive of boosting the awareness and enforcement of Safe Passing Distance. We'll continue to work closely with Cycling NSW, and other representative bodies, to boost Road Safety via a number of coordinated actions in coming months…

Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club actively participated in the Cycling Round Table at Parliament House, hosted by the Member for Balmain (Jamie Parker) and Member for Newtown (Jenny Leong). As well as sharing information, we learnt about successful strategies that other lobby groups have used. We also narrowed down to three key state-level goals for bike riders: achieving a large increase in cycling infrastructure spend; improved Road Safety with a specific focus on Safe Passing Distance; and boosting the participation of children (who are the future of both cycling and our community).

In mid-October 2018 it was very pleasing to see a joint statement and campaigning from all of the main bike groups around the country. Cycling Australia, Amy Gillett Foundation and the state cycling associations came together with We Ride Australia plus leading bike groups in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, WA, SA, Tasmania and the ACT. The media release contains practical steps to improve Road Safety and reduce harm to cyclists, plus learnings from West Midlands Police in the UK. All of these groups are promoting awareness and enforcement of Safe Passing Distance, and they have jointly issued a strong Call to Action:

"Australian cycling organisations have joined in a call to all states to conduct enforcement campaigns with the primary goal of education and raising awareness of the importance of leaving a safe distance when passing bicycle riders, supported by a visible demonstration by Police of the legitimacy of bicycle riders on roads."

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https://www.weride.org.au/policy-planning/safe-passing-enforcement-key-to-cyclist-safety/

Contact Us

Please volunteer some time to support this important Road Safety project.  We continue to seek friendly contacts in NSW Police and NSW Government to engage and influence.  Tell us about your experiences of unsafe passes and how MPD works in practice.  We are always open to offers of resources, actionable ideas and support for this MPD Initiative…

The MPD Initiative has been led by David Maywald, Marc Rerceretnam, Jonathan Wong and Peter Teow. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.