Nationals take country Victorians for a ride

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The realities of country living were again ignored by city-centric politicians, with the passage today of a bill that could put rural motorists at risk, Member for Northern Victoria Daniel Young said.

The Road Safety Road Rules 2009 (Overtaking Bicycles) Bill 2015 seeks to require that motorists provide a buffer zone when overtaking a cyclist. A zone of 1.5 metres would be required when the vehicle is travelling 60 km/h or more.

Mr Young, a member of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, said the bill was ridiculous in rural areas of Victoria, where motorists would not have the room to safely comply to the 1.5-metre requirement on narrow, rural roads.

“I can understand the city-centric Greens sponsoring such a bill, as they simply do not care about the interests of anyone outside of Brunswick and Fitzroy,” Mr Young said. “However, the Nationals have again ignored regional Victorians by supporting this bill.”

“It is clear that the Nationals are leaving the interests of rural and regional Victorians on the side of road by failing to stand up for their country constituents and getting sucked into inner-city politics.”

Mr Young said this bill puts country motorists, and potentially cyclists, at risk because many country roads would not provide enough room for a cyclist and motorist to safely travel side-by-side with a 1.5-metre buffer zone.

“I’m not sure the last time a Greens or Nationals Member of Parliament drove through rural Victoria, but a 1.5-metre overtaking zone in many areas would require a motorist to drive off the roadway,” Mr Young said. “It would also cause a risk to cyclists who may be left in a cloud of dust and debris.

“When did we abandon the notion that Victorians used common-sense when negotiating shared usage on our country roads? We do not need the Government to create another law telling us how to be responsible.

“This Bill does nothing for the interests of country Victorians who need their bloody roads fixed instead of wasting time with this kind of rubbish. We have again been let down by the Nationals as they pretend to represent us”

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