'Think they own the road': Cyclist road rule sparks anger

A road rule for cyclists is causing anger with some people claiming bike riders "think they own the road".

Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads posed a question to people on Facebook on Monday about cars passing cyclists and shared an image depicting a truck overtaking two cyclists riding single file on a 70km/h zone.

“The driver of this blue truck is approaching two bike riders on the edge of the road,” it wrote.

“The speed limit on this section of road is 70km/h. What’s the minimum passing distance the truck driver needs to leave between their vehicle and the riders?”

A truck looks to pass two cyclists in a 70km/h zone.
How much space should this truck give these cyclists when they pass them? Source: Department of Transport and Main Roads Queensland

In Queensland, the rule is drivers have to give 1.5 metres distance to cyclists when travelling more than 60km/h. If drivers are travelling below 60km/h then it is one metre.

“Passing a bicycle rider means that you (as a motorist) and the bicycle rider are travelling in the same direction,” according to the department’s website.

“This includes when you are travelling side-by-side in separate lanes on a multi-lane road. It does not apply if you are travelling in opposite directions.”

People use quiz as opportunity to complain about cyclists

While some people answered the question correctly, many used it as a forum to complain about cyclists.

One man wrote “cyclists think they own the road”.

Another man added that drivers should pass “as close as possible”.

“They [cyclists] don't pay rego and they flaunt the law,” he wrote.

One man said the photo was a “farce” because cyclists never “ride in single file”.

However, this is not illegal and cyclists can ride next to each other provided they are not more than 1.5 metres apart.

Department reminds people it doesn't 'tolerate threats of violence'

Such was the vitriol against cyclists, that the department was forced to warn people on Facebook to be civil.

“Because we posted a picture of a bike rider today we'll obviously have to remind everyone again that we're not tolerating threats of violence or death in this page,” it wrote.

“Even if you think you're being original (you're not) or funny (still not) we record every one of them in case we're ever called upon to provide evidence of malice in court.

“We all share the road and it's up to every one of us to make sure we get home safely. A little patience and respect goes a long way.”

One man wrote “a few” drivers think that they’re more important than cyclists, and truly believe their rego payment funds everything”.

“There’s your problem,” he wrote.

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