Opinion: Motorists need to show more consideration to cyclists

Give them space and be patient.

I was reading some comments on Facebook from a friend about cars driving over the bike lanes. My friend and his family are all bike riders, as are many Tasmanians. He took photos of cars driving on the designated bike lanes which is quite dangerous and posted on Facebook. There were many. We are used to negative comments but I must say some of the comments his post attracted surprised me.

So many people showed their utter disrespect for the law (and there is one) when it comes to the bicycle lanes, and by their comments couldn’t care less about bike riders. Now, in a state that has many bike riders, I would have thought Tasmanians would be more tolerant. I pass bike riders almost daily and I have very rarely seen one doing the wrong thing. I say rarely because yes, there are the odd ones who break the law, but hey, they are not alone. There are many motorists who break the law every day. There are motorists who park in a disabled park when they shouldn’t. There are motorists who speed, cut other motorists off, and some that don’t register their cars. 

There are people who don’t keep dogs on a leash where they should and others who let their kids run amok in supermarkets. The list goes on. All these things can cause problems.  

I can’t understand why someone who is worried about his safety and the safety of others can attract such comments. It’s not hard to be patient when passing cyclists. It’s not hard to stay within your lane and not the cyclist lane just as a car driver should stay within one lane. It’s not hard to think how you would feel if your child was hit by a car while riding a bike. The road is a public thoroughfare so yes, they should be allowed to ride. 

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It’s not hard to see that mum is struggling with the shopping and perhaps has no-one to take care of the kids. Are your kids perfect? Do you always do the right thing where your pet is concerned?  Does no-one remember what it was like to be calm, tolerant and friendly?   

To the drivers out there who are impatient with cyclists or drive in the bike lane, breathe in, and relax. You probably won’t get to your destination quicker with your impatient behaviour, and your life probably won’t change if you’re a few minutes late. But if you don’t pass safely or you drive in the bike lane, someone else’s life and yours could be changed forever. 

Do you agree with Fran on road etiquette between cyclists and drivers?