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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Kids shown why a metre really matters

The big cycling race in our region on Saturday also brought with it a road safety message.

CHALPAT SONTI February 12, 2014 4:09am

St Joseph's School students were among those in Nagambie who learned "a metre matters".


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While Victoria’s oldest cycling stage race came to the region on Saturday (see story on this website), it was also an opportunity for some younger cyclists to learn about one of the hazards of riding bicycles on the road.

Sissy Hoskin, a keen cyclist and organiser of the Nagambie Pushy Girls social cycling group, ran bike education safety clinics at St Joseph’s School, Nagambie Primary School and at Mitchelton Winery, the latter before the start of the third stage of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

The clinics were for Cycling Victoria and the Amy Gillett Foundation, with support from Subaru and USM Events, and emphasised ‘‘A Metre Matters’’.

This campaign, with support from the TAC and VicRoads, targets awareness and behavioural change for all motorists as well as some legislative certainty.

While the road rules specify that motorists need to allow cyclists ‘‘sufficient overtaking distance’’, there is little clarity about what this distance actually is.

Improving the understanding of how to safely overtake by leaving at least a metre (more in high speed areas) will have benefits for motorists and cyclists alike. Similar laws exist in Europe and more than 20 US states.

The campaign is endorsed by every state and territory government in Australia. It is hoped the one-metre rule can be incorporated into the Australian Road Rules — a decision for the Federal Government. The Foundation is also lobbying state MPs to introduce bills into their parliaments to amend their road rules.

In Nagambie, children took part in many activities including bike safety checks, recognising appropriate clothing choice, and even a race to seek out the slowest rider.

The winner of the race was the last person across the line.

The skills used were choosing correct gears for different riding conditions and of course balance and bicycle control.

The clinics concentrated on rider safety, respect for all road users — sending out the message of ‘‘a metre matters’’.

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