Law 'hard to police'

WHILE attempting to educate the community about vehicles and bicycles sharing the road, a community group has lamented the breakdown of a program rewarding courteous motorists.

They have also suggested that proposed new laws requiring motorists to allow a specified distance between their vehicles and cyclists may be difficult to police.

Gerringong resident Tony Camilleri and Kiama's Ross Mansell are both members of the Kiama Bicycle User Group, the latter vice-president.

About eight years ago, Mr Camilleri established the Share and Win program, seeking to reward courteous motorists.

Drivers who showed such courtesy on the road were presented with items such as gift vouchers.

"It was so the whole community were aware that we were there to promote road safety and sharing of the road," Mr Mansell said.

However, Mr Mansell was disappointed that Lake Illawarra Police had withdrawn their support.

"In the past it had been supported by the command, and although there were no adverse issues raised during that time a recent assessment of the program has identified concerns surrounding potential privacy issues, and as such the command is not comfortable facilitating this program under the current format," a command spokesperson said.

KBUG are working with council to try and re-establish the link with police.

"The process was, police would ring the person, and ask if they would take part in the scheme," Mr Camilleri said.

"Their privacy was never jeopardised.

"We appreciate the support given by police so far; it would have never got off the ground without the support."

The KBUG members also weighed in on proposed new laws to help protect cyclists.

In a two-year trial, motorists in Queensland are now legally required to leave at least a metre of space while overtaking a cyclist when travelling under 60km/h, and 1.5 metres when travelling faster than 60km/h.

There have been calls for similar action in NSW, following six cyclists being hospitalised after being hit by a car while travelling along Sydney's Southern Cross Drive last month.

Mr Mansell said the laws would be difficult to police.

"A lot [of motorists] have the view we shouldn't be on the road.

"I'm not sure how they'll police it, but if everyone's made aware of it, that's a start."

The KBUG members said dangerous vehicle behaviour included overtaking cyclists at roundabouts, or not allowing adequate space on narrow roads as they went past.

"Ninety-eight per cent of motorists give us respect; they go around us and give us room," Mr Mansell said.

"We really want to get away from the us-and-them mentality."

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