Drivers struggle to give cyclists travelling in marked bike lanes enough space, according to a university study.
Monash University academics attached a device to 60 bicycles that would measure the space drivers left when passing.
The study recorded more than 18,500 instances of vehicles passing a cyclist during the reporting period.
The results found that 1 in 17 drivers passed a cyclist leaving less than the required one metre of space.
As many as 124 motorists came within 60 centimetres when passing a cyclist.
The study also discovered that the presence of a marked bike lane on the road actually caused motorists to leave less space when passing a cyclist than if there was no lane at all.
"Our results demonstrate that a single stripe of white paint does not provide a safe space for people who ride bikes," said the study's lead author Ben Beck.
According to the study, the problem may be a result of "driver perceptions".
"Specifically, in situations where the cyclist is in the same lane as the motorist, the driver is required to perform an overtaking manoeuvre," the study claimed.
"Whereas in situations where the cyclist is in a dedicated marked bike lane, the motorist has a clear lane ahead and is not required to perform an overtaking manoeuvre."
In the Wollongong City Council area, while there is no policy that looks to avoid on-road paths, the vast majority of cycle paths are off the road.
"There are only roughly two kilometres of road lanes for exclusive use by bicycles on Wollongong City Council roads," a council spokesman said.
"Numerous other locations in the LGA have road markings that signify sharing by bicycles and motor vehicles including road shoulders on NSW State controlled roads such as the M1 and Memorial Drive.
"Council has constructed over 120 kilometres of off-road shared paths and cycleways."