We need to have a serious chat about road safety… 37



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We need to have a serious chat about road safety.

I’m not talking about the hoons that speed around corners and run red lights. I’m not talking about the pedestrians who play chicken. I’m not talking about the cyclists who ride where they like without consideration for those around them. I’m talking about the drivers who do the right thing and drive safely, for the pedestrians who follow the rules and travel safely and for the cyclists who want to ride in the bike lanes and ride safely.

There have been a couple of incidents happening lately involving the aforementioned. The first was that a young woman, Emily Greenwood was walking across a road at an intersection with a pedestrian green light when a cyclist ran a red light on the road and collided with her. The 24 year old woman was left unconscious, with a fractured collarbone and several missing teeth. She has fronted an estimated $15,000 medical bill to repair the damage to her body, particularly in dental fees. A police spokeswoman has said to the media that the offender, a 34 year old man would be charged with negligent driving – even though he is a cyclist. This means that if he is found guilty, he will face a fine of $67 and court costs.

Currently, there is no liability on the cyclist for the damage the victim endured because like most cyclists, they do not have third party or public liability insurance. If it were a car that hit her, she would be compensated as it is a legal requirement for every car on the road to have third party insurance. But because there is no compulsory registration or insurance system for cyclists, they have no liability.

The second thing that happened was last week when the game show, Family Feud asked the question, “What I something annoying that a cyclist might do?” The available answers for this question were; taking the driving lane, pulling out in front, cut you off, ride slowly, everything, ring bell, run red light and wear lycra.

I know so many cyclists who are safe. There are two people in my immediate family who cycle, one for sport as they are a triathlete and another who does it for transport. They have both worn a small camera on their different purposed rides and I was amazed at the footage they caught.

The one who rides for transport remained in the bicycle lane and stayed in the middle of it. He rides a typical bike, not a high-tech road bike so his tyres absorb shock and rocks on the path don’t bother him. There were two cars that drove past within a foot of him, both small cars, and another had a young man shout profanities at him. It was quite clear from the footage that he was well inside his bike lane and was out of the path of traffic.

The problem is that the type of things, like mentioned on Family Feud only encourage the stereotype that cyclists don’t belong on the road. Do we only believe that people with motors should be on the road? I personally believe most cyclists are safer than some motorcyclists that zigzag in and out of lanes at ridiculous speeds.

So why can’t we find harmony on our roads and make them a safe place again? As far as I can see it there are three things that need to be addressed:

  • The first is the proper legal claim for cyclists to ride on the road. They should be registered and it should also become compulsory for them to hold third party insurance.
  • The second is that cyclists need to respect vehicle drivers and vehicle drivers need to respect cyclists.
  • The third is that everyone on the road needs to remember that they have a commitment to their own safety as well as those around them and start travelling with consideration for other people – pedestrians, other vehicle drivers or cyclists.

The roads should be a safe place and everyone using them for travel should be equals in their rights and their liabilities.


 So tell me, what do you think? Do we need to create harmony between everyone on the road? Should everyone become legally equal? Share your thoughts in the comments below…

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  1. We live in rural area with narrow twisting roads that have several kms of double white lines . Weekend bike riders are a pest on these roads. Why they can not ride on the kms of bike tracks or rail trails that are available I do not understand. We get a lot of tourists at weekends who are not familar with the roads who get held up behind a group cyclists its just a matter of time befor a bad accident happens .

    1 REPLY
    • I agree with you Diane, I also am on a similar road to you. Cyclists here are a pest.

  2. Some cyclist still use the road even though there is a bike lane right beside the road they are on.

    4 REPLY
    • Depending on your state I think you’ll find this is an offence. More traffic police would solve the problems!

    • I can’t think of any roads in our rural areas that have cycle paths. They seem to be only in the metropolitan area. But, yes, many don’t use them and it is illegal here. With no police around to keep a check on it though, nothing gets done about it. I would much rather think my grandchildren were riding in the cycle lane if there is one….i HOPE they do!

    • Griffith NSW. The progress club fund raised to get a cycle path and yet the cyclists still use the road beside it. Their excuse is that they dont like having to stop at side streets. I agree with you that the safety of everyone should be a priority

  3. You want to get serious about bike rider safety? Let’s get the cyclist to learn the road rules first and then…stop at red lights, stop at stop signs, get off their bike at pedestrian crossings,give way where needed… and more. I drive a coach, quite often in peak hour traffic..watch how SOME riders completely ignore all the ” rules of the road ” ..maybe a registration plate? At least some form of identification,…insurance…( to cover scrapes and broken mirrors!) So don’t just ask the motorist to take care…

  4. I know the rules have changed somewhat, but they are making it more necessary for cyclists to have some form of identification for riding on the road. If that involves registration, so be it.

    1 REPLY
    • Most would already have car reg. should be sufficient. Flouro clothing should be a must. Obey rules or crush the bike.

  5. You will always get the odd idiot behind the wheel that will run you over even when you are riding your bike on the footpath,my son’s broken bones are proof of that.

  6. I don’t have as much trouble on the road with cyclist’s, as I do with the cyclist’s on the foot path & charred walk way, they almost run you Down.

    2 REPLY
    • I worry about toddlers, small children getting their faces minced in spokes & frail elderly ppl having friable skin torn to shreds. I have little sympathy for cyclists on FOOTpaths. There must be another way for everyone to share the road….. But cyclists need to lose the arrogant attitude.

    • @Bronwen,There are occasion where the bike rider has no safe option but to use the footpath.Maybe you would have a little sympathy if you saw your child laying on the road fighting for life all because of a car driver was not paying attention.

  7. Cove rd got multi million dollar bike track because the road is too narrow and bike riders still use the road. Death wish retards

  8. Sometimes even signs don’t help. Did these people bribe someone to get their license or use photo shop and a happy face.

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