Debate over road rule about cyclists takes unanticipated turn

A question about cyclists on roads in Queensland has caused fury after it was posted online.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads Queensland asked people on Facebook a question about overtaking cyclists.

“Bike riding's a great way to get some fresh air and exercise while you're practising safe social distancing,” it wrote.

“What's the minimum passing distance the orange car needs to give this bike rider?”

The bike and car were pictured in a 70km/h zone.

A car and a cyclist are pictured in a 70km/h zone.
Do you know what the correct passing distance is for this car overtaking a cyclist? Source: Transport and Main Roads Queensland

People were given four options as answers: 0.5 metres, 1m, 1.5m or 2m.

But many Facebook users were more preoccupied with bickering about whether bikes should be on roads.

“Why is the bicycle even on this road? They should be restricted to bike lanes or 60km/h roads,” one man wrote.

“When cyclists generally start demonstrating road courtesy is when I'll change my attitude to them.”

Another Facebook user claimed bikes needed to be registered, to which another user responded: “Which word in ‘Motor Vehicle Registration’ don’t you understand?”

“How much space does the cyclist need to give a car? Should be the same rules for them, and they should try staying inside that big lane they have,” one woman wrote.

Another man wrote his answer followed by: “And don’t read the comments.”

For the record, the correct answer is 1.5m and that distance applies for speeds more than 60km/h.

In Queensland, you can receive three demerit points and a $400 fine for not following the minimum distance rule.

If the matter goes to court, a maximum fine of more than $5,300 can apply.

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