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Police Talk Road Safety With Cycle Groups

By 30 May 2007 12

ACT Policing have put out this media release on their little get together with the Cycle groups of the ACT in response to this unfortunate event.


Superintendent Michael Chew said that the aim of the meeting is to ensure that cycling groups are aware of their obligations in ensuring their members obey the road rules when they use roads open to traffic.

“The objective of this meeting is to make sure road safety is foremost in the minds of all road users when these events are held. We do not want to see further accidents at these events; the safety of all road users is of the upmost importance.” Superintendent Chew said today.

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12 Responses to Police Talk Road Safety With Cycle Groups
#1
Pandy5:42 pm, 30 May 07

Seems like they took notice of photos posted on this website of cylist flauting the road rules and spanked them. Well that is my reading between the lines in that media release.

#2
andreas9:26 pm, 30 May 07

That sounds about right. There were things that weren’t done right so the police are having a meeting with some relevant groups to make sure they are done right in the future. It doesn’t take much reading between the lines. What is implied by “little get together”?

#3
AG Canberra2:17 pm, 31 May 07

The guy from the cycling club said on WIN news lastnight words to the effect that “car users also break road rules sometimes….the thing is to make sure the racing was done in a safe manner”

I think he’s missing the point – these are organised events occuring on public (non closed) roads. He can’t excuse any illegal behaviour just because they are running a race.

Also – 10 cyclists all on the wrong side of the road = carnage. Doesn’t matter whether it is inadvertant or not – someone’s gonna get hurt.

#4
VYBerlinaV8 now_with2:15 pm, 01 Jun 07

The bit that seems dreadfully obvious to me is that regardless of “who is breaking the law”, in an altercation between a car and a bike, the bike is going to come off second best.

#5
bonfire3:36 pm, 01 Jun 07

cyclist seem to pretend that isnt the case.

they are invincible and have enhanced night vision.

thats why they dont wear helmets or use lights at night.

#6
Aeek12:12 pm, 02 Jun 07

Bonfire, my night vision is better when I’m not using my HID. Sure a reflective jacket stands out nicely at 500m, but a pedestrian in fashionable earth tones can be hard to see at 4m. Worse since my blinding light convinces them that I must see them easily. At least I’m wearing a helmet.

#7
andreas2:56 pm, 03 Jun 07

So VYBerlinaV8, are you finally admitting that your stupidly big car is a danger to everyone except yourself? Or should we make a rule that everyone has to travel with a 1 tonne casing of steel? I don’t know how anyone can think their comments will be taken seriously in this thread with a tooly username like that. That aside…

What are your opinions on this – It doesn’t matter so much if a cyclist (or pedestrian) breaks the law because the only one being put in danger is themself. This was obvious in the Canberra Tour case where the cyclist was at fault and was the one hurt. (Admittedly the driver would be suffering some mental issues as a result.) I would make a similar arguement about scooters and motorbikes. If I accept this, I wonder at the motivation of those who are so vitriolic about motor/push bikes. It seems often a case of jealosy that they can do things you can’t do in your car, so you need to go making up excuses for your vitriol. Disagree?

#8
sandwich8:48 am, 05 Jun 07

andreas, I disagree that when a cyclist breaks the law the only person put in danger is themselves… if a cyclist runs over the middle line onto the otherside of the road for example and is hit by a car – sure the cyclist is hurt, but what about the driver??? They were doing the right thing and staying in their lines, they have to live with the fact that they hit someone – and even worse, what if the car spins out (like many do when they try and avoid something) and the driver hits a tree??? Honestly andreas it is attitudes like yours that make the rest of the roadusers so angry!

#9
andreas2:27 pm, 05 Jun 07

I’m not sure that it should make you that angry, sandwich. If you’re trying to convince someone it’s best not to insult them or they’ll resist because of the source rather than the arguement – I should take this on board, I think (sorry, VY, for getting a bit personal). My secondary question was whether that sort of anger is justified or whether it stems from something a bit more basal. If you go to the recent post on the Glenoch interchange chicane, where there are boasts of going 80km/h through a 40 zone, does that make you equally as angry?

Maybe I was a bit ambiguous in my central arguement – I’m not advocating breaking the law just because you’re on a bike. And when I’m riding, the only reason people could get angry at for is my presence, because i don’t run red lights or break the law (that’s really bad advocacy). I don’t think riding on the wrong side of the road is OK either. In the case of the missing Canberra tour photos which showed A grade riders – not the women mind you – riding across double lines, they were cheating as well as breaking the law. They were doing the wrong thing and I’m ot defending them.

So let me try again… In any field, not just transport, legislation is introduced in response to need. If people were driving around safely of their own accord there’d be a whole lot less traffic regulations. New rules and restrictions are introduced in response to a need or at least a perception of need. Think of the suburban 50km/h limit and the 40km/h school zone limit.

Cars are heavily legislated because they are dangerous if you don’t do it right. So you need to make sure people are trained and obey restrictions to make it safe for everyone. In most states (not the ACT though) it’s now illegal to ride on footpaths, because it was causing accidents. Again a problem arises and legislation is introduced to fix it. (Akin to what this post is about. which is why my original comment was “fair enough, there should be a meeting, why are the AFP being patronised in the post”.)

So I guess my arguement is similar to this (why the law puts less restrictions on bikes). By their nature they are less likely to kill and injure than a car so it’s less important to put restrictions on them.

It was simplistic to say “the only one being put in danger is [the cyclist]“, but I thought you’d get the gist without taking it literally. Of course there is risk to others, but 80kg of flesh and alloy travelling at 30km/h is much less of a risk to “innocent bystanders” than a 1.5 tonne block of alloy travelling at 80kms/h.

Caveats regarding my anger inducing attitude:
1. I’m happy to admit that even a pushbike can be dangerous. There was an example in melbourne last year where an older gent crossing the road was killed when he was knocked over by a rider. It happened as part of the most notoriously stupid bike ride in the country, the “Hell ride”. I’m more than happy for these guys to be sancioned, though only the one guy is having to face the charges. He was doing no more wrong than the rest of them, but was just the one who ended up hitting the guy – why shouldn’t they all be facing the same charges.
2. Sure, the driver who hits a cyclist at fault will have to live with the disturbing fact (I actually said that already), but they’re not dead.
3. All your scenarios about a car spinning out of control etc are possible, but I would think very unlikely. For the sake of info and interest, not arguement, can you or anyone cite examples or stats of a push bike rider causing injury to a car driver (or pedestrian)? Similar stats would be interesting for motorbikes.
4. The Canberra Tour was poorly run which led to dangerous situations. I’m told by some of the riders in the women’s B group, that the accident wasn’t actually caused by malicious law breaking. There was a crash (as happens in a race) and the split second response of one girl was to turn around it, taking her on to the wrong side of the road and into the 4WD.
5. I own a car so I am quite often part of “the rest of the road users”. Got my licence in Melbourne too, where the requirments are a bit more stringent than here, and the test (yes, they have an actual test in Melbourne by someone who’s not your instructor) actually involves traffic and narrow roads. When I got my licence I did my share of burnouts, mobile phoning, carpark runs and traffic light drags.

I make those caveats so you don’t type me as some militant anti-car activist who can’t see the other point of view. I don’t want to make anyone more angry on the road, cause I know this leads to more dangerous road use. But do I still have that effect? Let me know what you think.

#10
andreas2:29 pm, 05 Jun 07

Sorry, got carried away with the length there… If no one can be bothered reading my posts because of their length, does that mean I win the arguement?

#11
Thumper3:00 pm, 05 Jun 07

ummm…

Probably ;)

#12
BigDave12:42 pm, 02 Jul 07

Good luck to the cops. They’ve got an unenviable task trying to teach cyclists road safety. Perhaps they might also ask them if they’ve heard of the Road Rules? (hint, hint). Like, a red light means you must stop? I won’t hold my breath…

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