One-metre rule for motorists and cyclists tabled in legislature

New Brunswick's government has tabled an amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act calling for vehicles to leave one metre of space while passing a bicycle.

The amendment will be known as "Ellen's Law" in memory of New Brunswick cyclist Ellen Watters who died in December after being hit by a vehicle while she on a training ride near Sussex.

Under the proposed amendment, a driver must not pass a bicycle travelling in the same direction unless there is sufficient space to do so safely and the driver leaves at least one metre of open space between the vehicle and the bicycle.

The amendment would also allow drivers to cross the centre line while passing bikes when it is safe to do so, while failure to leave the proper space would result in a fine of $172.50 and three demerit points.

Government House Leader Rick Doucet says in addition to the legislation, the province will develop an education campaign, focusing on sharing the road.