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Minimum Passing Distance Legislation - What does it all mean?

Minimum Passing Distance Legislation - What does it all mean?
You may have heard a lot about the MPDL (Minimum Passing Distance Legislation) and are not quite sure what it relates to. This is a bill that we want to see passed that makes a minimum passing distance enforceable by law, for when motorists are overtaking cyclists. 

What is Stayin’ Alive at 1.5?

Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 is a campaign to pursue the adoption of a law that requires motorists to give cyclists 1.5 metres clearance when passing from the rear.

It is a 2 pronged campaign concentrating on (a) a safety campaign through the Facebook page and sale of a dedicated safety jersey and (b) lobbying of politicians in an effort to have the current ambiguous overtaking law amended.

Using the brilliant Stayin' Alive at 1.5 Campaign Phil Skelton, from Wexford, has done an enormous amount of work in getting this to the brink of being a reality. 

Read this concise article from Phil to see HOW WE CAN SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE CLOSE PASSING where he explains what the MPDL is, and why it is needed. 

When MPDL is implemented correctly, riders report safer interactions and a growing sense of legitimacy; others report decreases in injuries and fatalities…but you only get this when implemented correctly..
Popping this into legislation and thinking, job done, butters few parsnips..

You may have heard a lot of noise about MPDL this week - and that's because the Minister of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Minister Shane Ross, was vocal in stating that he does not feel that this is enforceable. 


Phil examined a few overseas examples:


In the UK, police officers Hudson & Hodson instigated operation close pass where they began policing the close passing of bicycle riders in the West Midlands in September 2016. A year later they discovered that the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on the region's roads had dropped 20%. 


In the USA in 2015 police officer Rob Simmons in Tennessee began using a newly developed ultrasonic device as a means of policing their minimum passing distance law and found a 26% decrease in cyclist injuries as a result. 

Minimum Passing Distance road sign from the USA

How do they measure it? 


In Australia Queensland was the first state to introduce a minimum passing distance law in April 2014 following a gradual increase in cyclist fatalities there. When comparing their three years before its introduction and the now three years post introduction, a 34% drop in cyclist fatalities is evidenced.

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