Two cyclists were hit on Richmond Rd by a tourist in a large campervan. Picture: SCOTT PICKERSGILL
Two cyclists were hit on Richmond Rd by a tourist in a large campervan. Picture: SCOTT PICKERSGILL

This ran down two cyclists so he'll pay a $160 fine

THE driver of a hired campervan who knocked down two cyclists on a Tasmanian road will be fined for failing to keep the required distance from the bikes.

Three Hobart cyclists were lucky to escape serious injury after two were struck by a campervan just outside Richmond on Monday.

Frightening footage, captured on the rear-view camera of one of the bicycles, showed the incident on Richmond Rd, 35km north-east of Hobart.

The three experienced cyclists were riding in single-file when the van narrowly missed the rear rider before hitting the front two.

The side of the van hit the middle rider and the front cyclist was hit by the side mirror.

The van, with interstate plates, was being driven by a female tourist.

Police were called to the scene and one of the cyclists involved filed a report to Bellerive police yesterday.

A Tasmania Police spokeswoman said an infringement notice would be issued to the driver of the van for failing to leave a distance of 1.5 metres.

In September, new passing laws came into force in which motorists must be at least a metre from a cyclist when passing on roads up to 60km/h, and 1.5 metes on roads over 60km/h. Penalties of up to $159 apply.

Scott Pickersgill, the rider struck by the side of the van, said the fine penalty was not high enough.

"If we'd come off our bikes, we would have gone under the van, so $160 - which probably won't get paid anyway - seems so low and why weren't they charged on the spot?" he said.

In 2005, members of the Australian women's road cycling team were hit by a car in Germany. Amy Gillett was killed and five others, including Tasmanian Louise Yaxley, were injured.

The Amy Gillett Foundation was established after the accident to reduce the incidence of injury and death caused by the interaction between cyclists and motorists.

Responding to the Richmond incident, foundation CEO Phoebe Dunn said no driver was above the law.

"Not knowing the rules is no excuse for breaking the law and, in this instance, putting another person in harm's way with potentially serious consequences," she said.

"The Amy Gillett Foundation encourages hire car companies to provide important information about Australian road rules and, in particular, the laws designed to protect vulnerable road users such as cyclists."

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