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Bike rider killed by car on Monaro Highway

By Anne Treasure - 31 March 2017 24

Police wrap

A bike rider has been killed on the Monaro Highway south of Canberra, early on Friday morning.

The identity of the rider has not been confirmed, but it is believed that an Indian Pacific Wheel Race rider is involved.

Race organisers have released a statement confirming that an incident has occurred, but did not reveal the rider’s identity.

ACT Police say the bike rider was hit by a car at around 6.20am, on the Monaro Highway south of Canberra.

“I can suggest, given the nature of the collision, an investigation into the circumstances would suggest the rider of the push bike died at the scene,” said Sergeant Chris Meagher.

“It’s early in the morning, it’s dark; there was no fog at the time.”

The Indian Pacific Wheel Race is a 5,500km bike-packing race from Fremantle to Sydney. The race leaders reached Canberra yesterday.

Earlier in the race, another participant was forced to pull out due to a head wound after being struck by a vehicle near Tarlee, South Australia. The driver was charged with driving without due care.

The driver of the car involved in the latest crash is assisting police with their inquiries.

This terrible tragedy is yet another reminder of the need to share the road safely.

Anne Treasure is the Communications Manager for Pedal Power ACT. She writes on bike riding in the ACT from the perspective of a lapsed bicycle rider who should be cycling more. 

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24 Responses to
Bike rider killed by car on Monaro Highway
1
rommeldog56 3:02 pm
31 Mar 17
#

Very tragic indeed.

Its a busy road with a 100kph speed limit Its early in the morning, its dark and given the number of idiot, incompetent, non attentive drivers on the road, the risks must be high.

Yes – everyone needs to share the road safely, but I’m afraid there will always be incidents. Before anyone vilify’s a driver, wait to see what the police investigation reveals.

2
dungfungus 4:26 pm
31 Mar 17
#

rommeldog56 said :

Very tragic indeed.

Its a busy road with a 100kph speed limit Its early in the morning, its dark and given the number of idiot, incompetent, non attentive drivers on the road, the risks must be high.

Yes – everyone needs to share the road safely, but I’m afraid there will always be incidents. Before anyone vilify’s a driver, wait to see what the police investigation reveals.

Apparently he had reported on social media that he was having vision problems.

I drive that road regularly and the only cyclists I ever see at any time are those hermit types who are touring the world pulling a trailer. They only travel in daylight hours and they go so slow they are hard not to see.

3
Bigdv8 5:53 pm
31 Mar 17
#

No car or truck or bus driver wants to kill another human being, but cyclists on roads is just too dangerous and wouldn’t ordinarily be allowed if it were any other pursuit that carried the same risks of serious injury or death… So why do we keep reminding drivers to ‘share the road safely’ when pretty painted lines or flashing LEDs will not stop you being killed by a several tonne vehicle moving and a massive speed differential to you…???

Make all the laws you want, the laws of Nature and Science will over-rule stupid road rules every time…. Its really disappointing to see so many people playing Russian Roulette with their (and car / truck / bus safety… The reality is that bikes do NOT belong on the road with faster moving and heavy vehicles…. they are just not safe, they are not compatible…

4
Masquara 10:22 pm
31 Mar 17
#

Had the race organisers organised warning vehicles fore and aft?

5
jcjordan 12:02 am
01 Apr 17
#

Bigdv8 said :

No car or truck or bus driver wants to kill another human being, but cyclists on roads is just too dangerous and wouldn’t ordinarily be allowed if it were any other pursuit that carried the same risks of serious injury or death… So why do we keep reminding drivers to ‘share the road safely’ when pretty painted lines or flashing LEDs will not stop you being killed by a several tonne vehicle moving and a massive speed differential to you…???

Make all the laws you want, the laws of Nature and Science will over-rule stupid road rules every time…. Its really disappointing to see so many people playing Russian Roulette with their (and car / truck / bus safety… The reality is that bikes do NOT belong on the road with faster moving and heavy vehicles…. they are just not safe, they are not compatible…

Which is a great argument for the enforced reduction in speed for most motor vehicles considering that the drivers kill/injury hundreds of people ever year and cost society millions of dollars.

I am not suggesting that this is a good idea, but your argument does lead down this path as its not only not practical but also creates additional costs to society which can be argued to be just as costly.

What we do need to rethink is how we manage transport of all kinds better in terms of training, education and infrastructure.

6
Chris 2:20 am
01 Apr 17
#

Masquara said :

Had the race organisers organised warning vehicles fore and aft?

The IPWR was planned as a solo and unsupported race.
So no, it was not that sort of race.

7
wildturkeycanoe 7:19 am
01 Apr 17
#

Masquara said :

Had the race organisers organised warning vehicles fore and aft?

Apparently it isn’t an event organized in an official capacity, but something cyclists do on their own, so there is no support crew. Another cyclist in the same race had been severely injured in SA on Monday of the same week. I honestly believe that having cyclists riding on the open roads at night time without a support vehicle are an accident waiting to happen. The illumination of their tiny LED tail lights can very easily be construed as a roadside reflector, being of the same size, colour and height, not to mention being in the same location. Drivers will not easily recognize them until drawing near, if they aren’t obscured by the dazzling reflections of a road sign.

jcjordan said :

Which is a great argument for the enforced reduction in speed for most motor vehicles considering that the drivers kill/injury hundreds of people ever year and cost society millions of dollars.

I am not suggesting that this is a good idea, but your argument does lead down this path as its not only not practical but also creates additional costs to society which can be argued to be just as costly.

What we do need to rethink is how we manage transport of all kinds better in terms of training, education and infrastructure.

Your proposal to reduce the speeds of vehicles on major highways simply due to the danger to other road users does not make sense. Deaths can happen at slow speeds too if somebody steps out in front of a moving truck, bus or car. Can you imagine how excruciatingly long the post will take if your mail is going down the Hume from Sydney at 40km/h? School zones are 40 but still children are injured or killed. So your suggestion poses the question, what speed is safe? 80, 60, 40, 25? How about the speed the cyclist is doing? How do we determine which roads should be speed restricted or do we put a blanket limit on all of them?
Bigdv8 sums it up perfectly – “bikes do NOT belong on the road with faster moving and heavy vehicles…. they are just not safe, they are not compatible…”
Pedestrians and mobility vehicles should use footpaths where possible. Skateboards, foot scooters and roller blades are not allowed on roads with a center lane divider or with speed limit above 50km/h. This is for the protection of the users. So why do cyclists who are another vulnerable user keep taking risks with their lives knowing full well the hazardous nature of the traffic approaching them from behind at a much faster speed? In the case of this tragic accident, it was a sport, a competition, not a normal commute for work purposes. Being on a dark road that is already known locally for frequent motor vehicle accidents, some of which have been fatal, is simply gambling with your life. As much as one can prepare with high-viz equipment, lights and such, they cannot predict the unknown. A tired driver with sleep still in their eyes drifting to the side, someone dazzled by the ultra bright LED light bar on an approaching 4×4 or even a vehicle avoiding a collision with a spooked kangaroo who deviates from their lane. There are always risks and these cyclists should be aware of that when riding at the most dangerous time of the day.

8
Ezy 7:35 am
01 Apr 17
#

I followed this race well before it started, excited about the number of amazing athletes it has attracted to ride across our beautiful country. I followed these riders as they made their way to their destination, I read stories about the amazing things they have seen… the people they were meeting along the way, the positive things they had to say about some of the truck drivers that showed patience and gave them room.

I was woken up yesterday morning by sirens – two hours later news started to spread about an accident along the Monaro highway, I logged on to the online race tracker and saw Mike Halls tracker right where the accident was reported, his tracker read “stopped”… my heart sank.

The cycling community has been hit hard by this terrible accident. I have had text messages from my cycling friends all over this morning just wanting to talk, to see how I’m doing and to also talk through the emotions they are feeling.

There have been so many cars vs bikes articles on this site. Can we please refrain from turning this into one. All I ask is for you to look into this amazing athlete, to learn about what he has achieved in his life at age 35.

9
Postalgeek 7:51 am
01 Apr 17
#

Bigdv8 said :

Make all the laws you want, the laws of Nature and Science will over-rule stupid road rules every time…. Its really disappointing to see so many people playing Russian Roulette with their (and car / truck / bus safety… The reality is that bikes do NOT belong on the road with faster moving and heavy vehicles…. they are just not safe, they are not compatible…

The reality is nothing is compatible or safe on the road system we have. Currently roughly 1200 people are killed on Australian roads per year. Cyclists make up only 2-3% of those deaths at the moment. The rest are mostly drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

If someone is going to argue that a particular group does not belong on a road for safety reasons, logic might suggest that they focus on the group that suffers the most casualties and and/or kills the most. They’ll probably find that group to be cars, but that’s not the conclusion some want to arrive at as it would cause cognitive dissonance because they want to use their car on the road.

Death is an acceptable risk for both cyclists and drivers as it occurs infrequently enough and most people have optimism bias.

10
Anne Treasure 7:52 am
01 Apr 17
#

Ezy said :

I followed this race well before it started, excited about the number of amazing athletes it has attracted to ride across our beautiful country. I followed these riders as they made their way to their destination, I read stories about the amazing things they have seen… the people they were meeting along the way, the positive things they had to say about some of the truck drivers that showed patience and gave them room.

I was woken up yesterday morning by sirens – two hours later news started to spread about an accident along the Monaro highway, I logged on to the online race tracker and saw Mike Halls tracker right where the accident was reported, his tracker read “stopped”… my heart sank.

The cycling community has been hit hard by this terrible accident. I have had text messages from my cycling friends all over this morning just wanting to talk, to see how I’m doing and to also talk through the emotions they are feeling.

There have been so many cars vs bikes articles on this site. Can we please refrain from turning this into one. All I ask is for you to look into this amazing athlete, to learn about what he has achieved in his life at age 35.

Thank you for this comment.

It’s a terrible loss, and lots of people are hurting today. Your sensitivity is much appreciated.

11
dkay 8:07 am
01 Apr 17
#

First, any event that encourages heavily fatigued riders to compete on public highways at night is irresponsible and stupid. Second, the organiser could have mitigated the risk by setting the route to avoid major roads whilst preserving the spirit of the event.

12
JimCharles 8:24 am
01 Apr 17
#

jcjordan said :

Bigdv8 said :

No car or truck or bus driver wants to kill another human being, but cyclists on roads is just too dangerous and wouldn’t ordinarily be allowed if it were any other pursuit that carried the same risks of serious injury or death… So why do we keep reminding drivers to ‘share the road safely’ when pretty painted lines or flashing LEDs will not stop you being killed by a several tonne vehicle moving and a massive speed differential to you…???

Make all the laws you want, the laws of Nature and Science will over-rule stupid road rules every time…. Its really disappointing to see so many people playing Russian Roulette with their (and car / truck / bus safety… The reality is that bikes do NOT belong on the road with faster moving and heavy vehicles…. they are just not safe, they are not compatible…

Which is a great argument for the enforced reduction in speed for most motor vehicles considering that the drivers kill/injury hundreds of people ever year and cost society millions of dollars.

I am not suggesting that this is a good idea, but your argument does lead down this path as its not only not practical but also creates additional costs to society which can be argued to be just as costly.

What we do need to rethink is how we manage transport of all kinds better in terms of training, education and infrastructure.

It can be managed in other parts of the world where safe and speedy transport systems are a necessity for productivity, but they invest far more in safety standards and road design, driver education, observation techniques, tougher driver tests and annual vehicle inspections. They also pull you up for bad driving technique, even if you haven’t broken a law. Education education education…preventative measures.
When ACT decides to do more than tell you to put your seatbelt on and cover the brake… whilst still allowing people to drive round with bald tyres and busted head and tail lights, cutting corners, driving in inappropriate lanes, having no universal driving code of practice (irrespective of the law), and actually shows that it understands how much more efficient a fluid road system can be………then you can take them seriously. But there is no strategy, will, or action.

Getting back to the point of this tragic accident, the Monaro is unsafe for cyclists. It’s a rural road, with no kerbs and no lights, and as we all know, once you get out there vehicles are swaying around all over the place and they do leave the road and hit the shoulder often.
This “race”, was an endurance race and the person killed was one of the organisers.
He seems to have posted that he had 1 hours sleep the previous night and was losing his vision. The purpose of the endurance race is to physically impair yourself, then see which rider can finish the race first.
Experienced or not, and riding around around 400km in 24 hours and trying to maintain that for 5500 km in all conditions….you can see why this wasn’t a race sanctioned by any officialdom and was treated as private solo rides.
It’s too risky for public roads shared in the same lane with all kinds of traffic travelling at night, bordering on reckless.
Of course he didn’t deserve to lose his life, but it was very unusual and is due to misadventure, not the usual cyclist versus vehicle debate.

13
jcjordan 8:40 am
01 Apr 17
#

wildturkeycanoe said :

Masquara said :

Had the race organisers organised warning vehicles fore and aft?

Apparently it isn’t an event organized in an official capacity, but something cyclists do on their own, so there is no support crew. Another cyclist in the same race had been severely injured in SA on Monday of the same week. I honestly believe that having cyclists riding on the open roads at night time without a support vehicle are an accident waiting to happen. The illumination of their tiny LED tail lights can very easily be construed as a roadside reflector, being of the same size, colour and height, not to mention being in the same location. Drivers will not easily recognize them until drawing near, if they aren’t obscured by the dazzling reflections of a road sign.

jcjordan said :

Which is a great argument for the enforced reduction in speed for most motor vehicles considering that the drivers kill/injury hundreds of people ever year and cost society millions of dollars.

I am not suggesting that this is a good idea, but your argument does lead down this path as its not only not practical but also creates additional costs to society which can be argued to be just as costly.

What we do need to rethink is how we manage transport of all kinds better in terms of training, education and infrastructure.

Your proposal to reduce the speeds of vehicles on major highways simply due to the danger to other road users does not make sense. Deaths can happen at slow speeds too if somebody steps out in front of a moving truck, bus or car. Can you imagine how excruciatingly long the post will take if your mail is going down the Hume from Sydney at 40km/h? School zones are 40 but still children are injured or killed. So your suggestion poses the question, what speed is safe? 80, 60, 40, 25? How about the speed the cyclist is doing? How do we determine which roads should be speed restricted or do we put a blanket limit on all of them?
Bigdv8 sums it up perfectly – “bikes do NOT belong on the road with faster moving and heavy vehicles…. they are just not safe, they are not compatible…”
Pedestrians and mobility vehicles should use footpaths where possible. Skateboards, foot scooters and roller blades are not allowed on roads with a center lane divider or with speed limit above 50km/h. This is for the protection of the users. So why do cyclists who are another vulnerable user keep taking risks with their lives knowing full well the hazardous nature of the traffic approaching them from behind at a much faster speed? In the case of this tragic accident, it was a sport, a competition, not a normal commute for work purposes. Being on a dark road that is already known locally for frequent motor vehicle accidents, some of which have been fatal, is simply gambling with your life. As much as one can prepare with high-viz equipment, lights and such, they cannot predict the unknown. A tired driver with sleep still in their eyes drifting to the side, someone dazzled by the ultra bright LED light bar on an approaching 4×4 or even a vehicle avoiding a collision with a spooked kangaroo who deviates from their lane. There are always risks and these cyclists should be aware of that when riding at the most dangerous time of the day.

We know that the energy in the collision is the primary influence on the amount of damage. If you reduce the energy in the system less potential for injury. This is why we reduce the speed in high pedestrian areas. Plus at lower speeds you have more reaction time

14
dungfungus 10:55 am
01 Apr 17
#

Lets not forget the plight of the person that was driving the vehicle who was taken to hospital in shock after seeing the last moments of this unfortunate albeit foolhardy cyclist.

The memories of this avoidable incident will haunt that person forever.

15
dungfungus 11:15 am
01 Apr 17
#

jcjordan said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

Masquara said :

Had the race organisers organised warning vehicles fore and aft?

Apparently it isn’t an event organized in an official capacity, but something cyclists do on their own, so there is no support crew. Another cyclist in the same race had been severely injured in SA on Monday of the same week. I honestly believe that having cyclists riding on the open roads at night time without a support vehicle are an accident waiting to happen. The illumination of their tiny LED tail lights can very easily be construed as a roadside reflector, being of the same size, colour and height, not to mention being in the same location. Drivers will not easily recognize them until drawing near, if they aren’t obscured by the dazzling reflections of a road sign.

jcjordan said :

Which is a great argument for the enforced reduction in speed for most motor vehicles considering that the drivers kill/injury hundreds of people ever year and cost society millions of dollars.

I am not suggesting that this is a good idea, but your argument does lead down this path as its not only not practical but also creates additional costs to society which can be argued to be just as costly.

What we do need to rethink is how we manage transport of all kinds better in terms of training, education and infrastructure.

Your proposal to reduce the speeds of vehicles on major highways simply due to the danger to other road users does not make sense. Deaths can happen at slow speeds too if somebody steps out in front of a moving truck, bus or car. Can you imagine how excruciatingly long the post will take if your mail is going down the Hume from Sydney at 40km/h? School zones are 40 but still children are injured or killed. So your suggestion poses the question, what speed is safe? 80, 60, 40, 25? How about the speed the cyclist is doing? How do we determine which roads should be speed restricted or do we put a blanket limit on all of them?
Bigdv8 sums it up perfectly – “bikes do NOT belong on the road with faster moving and heavy vehicles…. they are just not safe, they are not compatible…”
Pedestrians and mobility vehicles should use footpaths where possible. Skateboards, foot scooters and roller blades are not allowed on roads with a center lane divider or with speed limit above 50km/h. This is for the protection of the users. So why do cyclists who are another vulnerable user keep taking risks with their lives knowing full well the hazardous nature of the traffic approaching them from behind at a much faster speed? In the case of this tragic accident, it was a sport, a competition, not a normal commute for work purposes. Being on a dark road that is already known locally for frequent motor vehicle accidents, some of which have been fatal, is simply gambling with your life. As much as one can prepare with high-viz equipment, lights and such, they cannot predict the unknown. A tired driver with sleep still in their eyes drifting to the side, someone dazzled by the ultra bright LED light bar on an approaching 4×4 or even a vehicle avoiding a collision with a spooked kangaroo who deviates from their lane. There are always risks and these cyclists should be aware of that when riding at the most dangerous time of the day.

We know that the energy in the collision is the primary influence on the amount of damage. If you reduce the energy in the system less potential for injury. This is why we reduce the speed in high pedestrian areas. Plus at lower speeds you have more reaction time

I consider myself to be a good safe driver – I have probably driven 2 million kilometres so far in my life. I am always courteous to cyclists and pedestrians, have never caused an accident and after living over 30 years in Canberra I have only had 1 speeding infringement.

Driving on a highway pre-dawn is always a riskier time and there are expectations that a kangaroo of wombat may be on the road ahead of you or a sleepy driver coming in the opposite direction, fog, drizzle etc.

The last thing I would expect to see at that time/place would be a cyclist and I doubt if even I, with all my experience and alertness would have been avoid the situation that occurred.

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