Department of State GrowthTransport

Centrelines

From 25 February new road rules will be introduced on Tasmanian roads to increase the safety of bike riders.

When passing or overtaking a bike rider, a motorist can now straddle or cross a continuous centre line in order to leave a safe space between their vehicle and the bike rider, when it is safe to do so.

A safe space is considered to be 1 metre between the motorist and the bike rider, on roads up to and including 60 km/h and 1.5 metres on roads above 60 km/h.

centrelines video
Click on the image above to view realistic video

Frequently Asked Questions 

When does the new road rule commence?
Why is the road rule changing?
What does the new road rule mean for drivers?
How much space should a driver leave when passing a bike rider?
What should drivers do if a bike riders are riding two abreast?
How do I know when it is safe to pass?
What should a driver do if they can't pass and leave sufficient space?
Why can a driver cross centrelines to pass bike riders but not other vehicles?

 

When does the new road rule commence?

On 25 February 2015, road rule amendments will be introduced to permit drivers to cross centre lines to pass a bike rider when it is safe to do so.

Why is the road rule changing?

The new road rules are designed to increase the safety of bike riders on Tasmanian roads by allowing drivers to leave a safe space between their vehicle and bike riders as they pass.

What does the new road rule mean for drivers?

This means when passing or overtaking bike riders, drivers can now straddle or cross; a single continuous line, a single continuous line with a broken line on the left or right, or double continuous lines to pass a bike rider, in order to leave a safe space between their vehicle and the bike rider.

Before passing, the driver should:

  • ensure that there is no oncoming traffic and the road ahead of you is clear;
  • check mirrors, indicate, look over your shoulder to check blind spots;
  • pull out to pass, leaving plenty of room between you and the bike rider;
  • after passing, check you can see the bike rider in your mirror before moving back into the lane.

single straight line

A road with a single continuous dividing line, a driver may drive to the right of the dividing line - 

  • to enter or leave the road; and
  • to pass a bike rider and avoid an obstruction if -
    • the driver has a clear view of any approaching traffic; and
    • the driver can do so safely. 

single straight line with broken lines

A road with a broken dividing line to the left or the right or a single continuous dividing line, a driver may drive to the right of the dividing line - 

  • to enter or leave the road; and
  • to pass a bike rider and avoid an obstruction if -
    • the driver has a clear view of any approaching traffic; and
    • the driver can do so safely. 

double straight lines

A road with a double continuous dividing line, the driver may drive cross to the right of the dividing line - 

  • to pass a bike rider and avoid an obstruction if -
    • the driver has a clear view of any approaching traffic; and
    • the driver can do so safely. 


How much space should a driver leave when passing a bike rider?

bike and car with gap

It is recommended that a driver should leave at least one metre clearance between their vehicle and the bike rider on roads up to and including 60 km/h and 1.5 metres on roads above 60 km/h.

What should drivers do if bike riders are riding two abreast?

It is recommended that you should still leave 1 metre between the motorist and the bike rider, on roads up to and including 60 km/h and 1.5 metres on roads above 60 km/h.

Before passing the driver should:

  • ensure that there is no oncoming traffic and the road ahead of you is clear;
  • check mirrors, indicate, look over the shoulder to check blind spots;
  • pull out to pass, leaving plenty of room between you and the bike rider;
  • after passing, check you can see the bike rider in your mirror before moving back into the lane.
bike and car two abreast with gap

How do you know when it is safe to pass?

Before passing a bike rider, the driver should ensure that there is no oncoming traffic and the road ahead of them is clear.  

Under no circumstances should they try and squeeze past a bike rider if there is an oncoming vehicle or the road ahead is not clear. 

A driver should be patient, wait until any oncoming cars have passed and the road ahead is clear, before attempting to pass.

What should a driver do if they can't pass and leave sufficient space?

A driver should not try to pass if they are unsure they can leave a safe space between their vehicle and the bike rider. A driver should be patient, stay a safe distance behind the bike rider and wait until any oncoming cars have passed and the road ahead is clear, before attempting to pass. 

Why can a driver cross centrelines to pass bike riders but not other vehicles?

Bike riders are smaller than other motor vehicles and move at a much slower pace. Therefore there is a distinct difference in the time and space required to pass or overtake a motor vehicle compared to passing a bike rider.