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Increased abuse towards cyclists on WA roads

Oliver Peterson
Article image for Increased abuse towards cyclists on WA roads

The State Government has successfully improved cyclist safety after through their bicycle passing distance law, but new UWA research has revealed there has been a rise in aggressive behaviour.

The research shows that while cyclist numbers remained steady between 2016 and 2020, negative attitudes such as honking and swearing have increased.

Dr Laura Fruhen from UWA’s School of Psychological Science says the law has been successful but it has it’s down side.

“Generally overtaking an obstacle or someone on the road that is slow, we know that frustrates drivers,” she said.

The law, passed in 2017, says vehicles must leave 1 metre between the car and cyclist under 60km/h and 1.5 metres on roads over 60km/h.

Dr Fruhen believes its a two way street; cyclists need to be aware and motorists need to be understanding.

“We need to change the big perception of ‘us verse them.’ A cyclist is trying to get from A to B, just like a driver is and that’s something that we need to work on.”

Hear the full interview below.

Oliver Peterson
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