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Nearly taken out by Action

By 29 May 2014 17

I live in Gilmore on Canberra’s South and ride a big shiny motorbike to work. This morning as I turned right into the roundabout from Heagney into Hambridge I saw an Action bus approaching the roundabout from my left at a significant speed.

It was obvious he was carrying too much speed to stop and give way. So I emergency stopped in the roundabout about 1 metre shy of the buses trajectory. This wasn’t too difficult because I was already slowing for the tight roundabout.

The bus driver saw me just as I was stopping and attempted to wash off speed. I’m not sure why he bothered since the impact would still have been like breaching a flyscreen with a police battering ram.

Surprisingly, when he travelled directly past me he managed to turn a full 90 degrees and make wild gesticulating apologies with both hands in the air together…

Here are just a few things to remember if you ride:

  • Non riders often only see objects the same size as themselves or larger
  • Be extra vigilant when the driver is looking beyond you into the sun
  • Understand where a driver’s blind spots are and avoid them
  • Give vehicles in front and behind enough space for emergency stopping – it doesn’t matter how quick you can brake
  • Be predictable and don’t trust public bus drivers – or anyone else – with your life

Safe travels.

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17 Responses to Nearly taken out by Action
#1
Mess2:36 pm, 29 May 14

Gotta watch those streets that come off Heagney too. People drive like Heagney is a quiet street and don’t generally stop while pulling onto it from a side street. I’ve lost count of the amount of near misses I have had along there.

#2
rosscoact2:46 pm, 29 May 14

The one piece of advice I gave my son when he started riding was that everybody with four wheels or more is out to kill him. So far so good.

#3
magiccar92:49 pm, 29 May 14

I drive a big shiny car to work, and the number of times I’ve literally had to stop completely in the middle of a roundabout because an ACTION bus can’t be bothered stopping is appalling. What makes it worse is when the driver then has the nerve to gesture at you like it’s your fault.

#4
TAMSMediaRoom5:14 pm, 29 May 14

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. If you would like to make a report so that we can investigate the incident please visit the ACTION website customer service page http://www.action.act.gov.au/About_ACTION/customer_service or call ACTION on 13 17 10. Thanks.

#5
miz5:29 pm, 29 May 14

Could I add another tip for motorcyclists: please don’t cruise along in the blind spot of the car in front. They cannot actually see you there.

#6
wildturkeycanoe8:47 pm, 29 May 14

miz said :

Could I add another tip for motorcyclists: please don’t cruise along in the blind spot of the car in front. They cannot actually see you there.

Are you talking about the entire area behind the mirrors of a car? If it doesn’t show up in the windscreen it doesn’t exist.

#7
Pork Hunt9:24 pm, 29 May 14

On a slightly related note. Are there any plans by ACT Gov to mimic the new lane filtering laws for motorcycles in NSW which will come into force on July 1st?

#8
Walker10:23 pm, 29 May 14

TAMSMediaRoom said :

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. If you would like to make a report so that we can investigate the incident please visit the ACTION website customer service page http://www.action.act.gov.au/About_ACTION/customer_service or call ACTION on 13 17 10. Thanks.

Thank you. Also a word to bus riders too, if you see something odd from the inside, you’ve got your regulars so you’ll have some idea who’s who (and in rare cases some motion sickness… but having said that, most drivers are alright, and a few are wonderful, so hello smooth friendly drivers out there!).

#9
rosscoact10:42 pm, 29 May 14

Pork Hunt said :

On a slightly related note. Are there any plans by ACT Gov to mimic the new lane filtering laws for motorcycles in NSW which will come into force on July 1st?

I saw a police post on another site along the lines of ‘watch this space’

#10
Kalliste12:31 pm, 30 May 14

Another thing to remember for riders is that you’re probably a bit safer if you don’t ride down between lanes of queued up traffic to get to the front of the lights at an intersection.

The other week I saw a bike on Northbourne ave swerve from the right lane to the far left lane without indicating and narrowly avoiding 2 buses.

So it’s not always Action at fault when it comes to some motorcyclists.

#11
VYBerlinaV8_is_back2:59 pm, 30 May 14

Some good advice in the original article.

I got stuck a few weeks ago in Fyshwick when an Action bus decided to queue across a busy intersection instead of giving way. I understand that driving a bus in traffic must be difficult, but the rules are there for a reason.

#12
TheBusDriver4:55 pm, 31 May 14

No one’s perfect. Glad you came out intact. Good defensive driving on your part.

#13
qbngeek10:30 am, 01 Jun 14

miz said :

Could I add another tip for motorcyclists: please don’t cruise along in the blind spot of the car in front. They cannot actually see you there.

Try turning your head and checking the blind spot without the mirrors. Thats how I was taught and it is something that is monitored in the NSW test and you can get failed for not doing it enough. It has worked for me for 15 years and I always manage to spot cars and motorbikes in the mirror blind spots.

#14
rosscoact5:17 pm, 01 Jun 14

Yes, the head-check, which is drilled into every motorcyclist as a key survival technique is ignored by 87%* of motorists. Hell, 46% * don’t even use their blinkers.

* all statistics used in this post are made up.

#15
miz10:06 am, 02 Jun 14

I agree about the head check – I am simply saying that for self-preservation, motorcyclists should not assume the driver in front will do this, particularly when the motorist in front has ‘not seen’ the motorcyclist for several kms.

#16
Antagonist10:24 am, 02 Jun 14

qbngeek said :

miz said :

Could I add another tip for motorcyclists: please don’t cruise along in the blind spot of the car in front. They cannot actually see you there.

Try turning your head and checking the blind spot without the mirrors. Thats how I was taught and it is something that is monitored in the NSW test and you can get failed for not doing it enough. It has worked for me for 15 years and I always manage to spot cars and motorbikes in the mirror blind spots.

When I was doing the stay upright course to get my bike L’s, we were hammered with the concept that if you are on a bike and cannot see the face of the motorist in their side/rear view mirror, then the motorist cannot see you. They really pushed this point hard. If you get hit by said motorist because you did not put yourself where you can be seen by people around you, then it is your own fault for having sh!t roadcraft skills.

#17
NoImRight10:44 am, 02 Jun 14

miz said :

I agree about the head check – I am simply saying that for self-preservation, motorcyclists should not assume the driver in front will do this, particularly when the motorist in front has ‘not seen’ the motorcyclist for several kms.

So how recently was it that you nearly ran over someone?

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