9 February 2021

Driver cops "grossly inadequate" fine after collision with cyclist

| Michael Weaver
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Dashcam screenshot

Dashcam image of the cyclist hit by a passing motorist in October last year. Photo: Screenshot.

Canberra’s peak cycling body Pedal Power has labelled a fine handed to the driver of a vehicle that collided with a cyclist last October “grossly inadequate”.

The collision occurred on 3 October 2020. The cyclist was riding towards William Hovell Drive when he was hit by a vehicle towing a trailer.

The cyclist was taken to hospital and treated for his injuries from which he has since recovered.

However, Pedal Power spokesperson Lil Bryant-Johnson said Pedal Power will continue pushing for stronger penalties after the driver was today issued with an infringement for negligent driving, which attracts a fine of just $393 and three demerit points.

“This fine seems grossly inadequate for negligent driving which seriously endangered a person’s life,” Pedal Power said via its Facebook page.

Ms Bryant-Johnson said Pedal Power pursued the collision with ACT Policing and urged them to take strong action against the driver after dashcam footage revealed the severity of the accident.

“We’ve been following the accident since it happened and it really has taken a lot of action on our behalf to get the result so far, but we are glad that there at least has been a result today,” she told Region Media.

“We’re pretty shocked and we’re going to keep pursuing it by seeking urgent answers from the ACT Government about the appropriateness of the penalties in our Road Transport Act to deter such dangerous driving and effectively protect our community’s vulnerable road users.”

The driver of the vehicle was penalised only after dashcam footage emerged of the collision.

The footage shows the driver making a last-minute decision to cross lanes without indicating before the vehicle side-swipes the first of two cyclists. The video shows there was good visibility and there appeared to have been plenty of time for the driver to have slowed to wait for the riders to pass.

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Ms Bryant-Johnson said the collision shows a complete and reckless lack of concern by the driver for the bike riders.

“We think this is something the community would be really surprised about, especially with what our laws say and whether there are better things we can do to protect vulnerable road users.

“This incident highlights the need for further driver education and stronger enforcement of the minimum passing laws because we are meant to look after each other,” Ms Bryant-Johnson said.

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One of the commenters on the Pedal Power Facebook page labelled the collision as “absolutely disgusting”.

“You get a bigger penalty for using your mobile phone – $447 plus four demerit points.”

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Not one response so far has asked how the rider is after the collision! This sort of fall can be very life changing. I hope he is doing OK in both body and mind.

Every one of these stories is always infested with the same self-righteous comments from argumentative people who think their viewpoint is the only one that matters. How about we stop all the blame-throwing and remember that every person is more important than driving at the speed limit and who “owns” the lane. Slow down a bit and just look after each other!

Yet another tool of a 4wd tradie driving dangerously. They constantly tailgate & speed despite having loaded trailers. I’m not a bike rider and I drive at the speed limit but am constantly tailgated by these dangerous fools. Cops need to crack down on their wreckless & infantile behaviour before they kill people.

There was an accident on Kings Avenue Bridge a couple of days ago involving one of those 4WDs with a trailer. I heard the long screech of tyres, thud, and then another long screech of tyres. As I rode back over the bridge shortly after, a small car had a large hole where the boot should have been. I would have expected to see the small car’s rear squashed, but there was just that great missing chunk and the gaping hole. I was cycling past and didn’t stop, so this observation was quick. At first appearance it would be presumed the 4WD was at fault, but I didn’t witness what happened. It’s also possible the small car changed lanes suddenly and into the way of the 4WD. The small car would be a write off. I’ve had a car tail-ended which was written off, with far less damage.

That was clearly not an accident. That was an “on purpose” But that said, the cyclist contributed to the incident by riding in the middle of the lane instead of to the right, and clearly aggravated somebody who is not fond of cyclists. No excuse to intentionally hit the cyclist though, and given the weapon involved, a charge of attempted murder would be difficult to defend. No common sense from either party.

Cyclists aggressively imposing their “rights” on ACT roads is an issue, and is a big contributor to the motorist cyclist animosity.

The other big contributor is how cyclists treat pedestrians. With total disdain. A bicycle could cause significant injury or death if it hits a pedestrian, especially a child. I would say that every person who has spent time walking around the lake has an unpleasant “cyclist story”. I have.

In summary, cyclists should remember that the pedestrian they just abused could very well later be the driver of the car from whom they demand respect.

It takes two to share, and both parties seemed to be going out of their way NOT to share the road.
As much as the shrink-wrapped cyclist wants to hog the road though, it certainly doesn’t excuse running him down – it’s a wonder we don’t have more road trauma when there are people with that level of maturity permitted to use our roads.

you seem to be forgetting the word ‘unreasonably’.

It is not unreasonable for any cyclist to be riding on any road at 30 kmph. Uphill that may go down to 20 or 10. who knows. that depends on the cyclist. Cadel Evans may still be able to do 40 kmph uphill, but Joe Average couldn’t. Again, it is not unreasonably slow for that individual cyclist.

rationalobserver8:30 am 11 Feb 21

Is that an empty bike path I see off to the right in that picture?

no, it’s the on road lane going the other way.

You see what you wish to see. You see a bike lane (it’s the road) because you want to accuse people on bikes of not riding on the bike path. Not very observant or rational.

If it was an accident and not intentionally done then the punishment is adequate.
Intentionally hitting cyclists/pedestrian/cars should carry severe penalities which I believe is covered under attempted murder, battery, assault?

What I see in the video is two cyclists obstructing traffic, taking up an entire lane in an 80 sone while probably doing less than half the speed limit.

One of the biggest problems keek is people not knowing the road rules. A cyclist has “the same legal rights and obligations as other road users”. Just because someone is going slowly doesn’t mean you can use your car to run them over. The driver was negligent and the fine is manifestly inadequate.

I’m sure it soothes the families of cyclists who have been killed on the road that at least they weren’t at fault in the accident.

This video example just highlights why cyclists should not be allowed to ride on roads. The safety risks are simply too high with such disparities in speeds between cars and bicycles. No matter what controls you put in place, nothing will be enough to reduce the risks sufficiently except completely separating bicycles and cars.

The cyclists are not obstructing traffic. They ARE traffic. Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on the road as cars, trucks, busses. You don’t seem to know the road rules.

And there we have it. A cyclist has the same legal obligations as other road users. I’m pretty sure it is illegal, and classed as obstructing traffic to do less than half the speed limit and hold other road users up. You can be fined for it in a car. As usual though, the illegal actions of the cyclist are ignored.

If I’m doing 30 in an 80 zone in my car, and holding up everybody behind me, I’ll get fined for obstructing traffic if a cop drives by.

The rules about travelling below the posted limit have nuances. You can go slower if it’s pouring with rain; if you have a really heavy truck and you’re going up hill; AND if you are a cyclist and it’s physically impossible to go any faster. So it’s not illegal for a cyclist to go at less than the posted limit. It is illegal however, to run them over with your car.

Yeah, I am pretty sure being on a bicycle does not give you a legal right to obstruct traffic.

keek – if you are in a car doing 30 in an 80 zone, then maybe. If, however, you are on a bicycle, a bulldozer or a loaded truck that is not capable of going faster, then you are not legally obstructing. Do you really think that riding a bike on the road is illegal?

Again, you are making things up. It is absolutely illegal for a bulldozer or truck or even a bicycle to obstruct traffic. Please reference the section of the ACT road rules that allows them to travel substantially below the speed limit and hog the road, obstructing other traffic.

keek, you are incorrect.


Unreasonably obstructing drivers or pedestrians
125 Unreasonably obstructing drivers or pedestrians

(1) A driver must not unreasonably obstruct the path of another driver or a pedestrian.
: Offence provision.
Note :
“Driver” includes a person in control of a vehicle–see the definition of
“drive” in the dictionary.
(2) For this rule, a driver does NOT unreasonably obstruct the path of another driver or a pedestrian only because:
(a) the driver is stopped in traffic, or
(b) the driver is driving more slowly than other vehicles (unless the driver is driving abnormally slowly in the circumstances).
Example of a driver driving abnormally slowly : A driver driving at a speed of 20 kilometres per hour on a length of road to which a speed-limit of 80 kilometres per hour applies when there is no reason for the driver to drive at that speed on the length of road.

Keek – for you

The most recent version of the Australian Road Rules


rationalobserver8:22 am 11 Feb 21

Nor do the many cyclists I see running red lights, yadda yadda.

a rider riding at 30 kmph on an 80 kmph hour road is not travelling unreasonably slowly, or obstructing traffic.

Neither is a grader, or a tractor, or a car pulling a horse float.

i think it actually shows that incompetent drivers should be put off the road until they can prove they are safe to drive and share the road with other road users, including cyclists.

That is a very interesting way you are interpreting this…
“A driver driving at a speed of 20 kilometres per hour on a length of road to which a speed-limit of 80 kilometres per hour applies when there is no reason for the driver to drive at that speed on the length of road.’

I don’t think that a good reason to be travelling abnormally slowly would be “I can’t go any faster, but I will hog up the road and hold everybody up anyway, because I’m obnoxious and have a sense of entitlement”.

you seem to be forgetting the word ‘unreasonably’.

It is not unreasonable for any cyclist to be riding on any road at 30 kmph. Uphill that may go down to 20 or 10. who knows. that depends on the cyclist. Cadel Evans may still be able to do 40 kmph uphill, but Joe Average couldn’t. Again, it is not unreasonably slow for that individual cyclist.

Perhaps you should pitch this genius policy idea to the government?

All they need to do to reduce the road toll to zero is locate and remove “incompetent” drivers from the road.

No one who is “competent” has ever made a driving mistake obviously.

I’d love to hear the proposal on how you would implement this policy and how you plan on differentiating between mistakes vs more serious incompetent driving.

start with retesting of the driver’s licence requirements every 5 years. Written test on current road rules, and a practical driving test.

1 test when you’re 18 doesn’t mean you’re competent when you’re 50, and it’s clear as day that half the people commenting here don’t even KNOW the current road rules.

People can and do make mistakes. But clear punishment passes are exactly that.

And how much do you think that will cost? noting that I’m not against greater education.

I’m also assuming that if you are for much stricter licence requirements, you would also apply this to cyclists who currently require no formal training, licencing or registration to ride on the road?

And even if you did put these actions in place, it still wouldn’t protect cyclists from the inherent risk of riding on roads or drivers making mistakes. Large speed variations between vehicles have been shown time and time again to cause accidents.

This is something that is inherent to vulnerable road cyclists and cannot be controlled without removing cyclists from riding on the same roads as cars. It’s madness to continue to think cars and bikes can coexist on higher speed roads.

Scott Anthony5:20 pm 09 Feb 21

Puch bikes really have no place on 80kph roads as they are far to vulnerable and under OHS laws this should be banned for THEIR safety and the safety of all road users.. Their vehicles don’t comply with the ADRs, they don’t pay insurance or rego for these bikes (every vehicle must be registered, not just the ‘car at home’)… ban them for their own safety..

Capital Retro9:21 am 10 Feb 21

Re that image, shouldn’t those cyclists be on the inside of that lane?

You are victim-blaming
Bikes are legally allowed on roads.
The cyclists are not dangerous, the car driver is dangerous. Your rant is unwarranted.
I can come up with a list of reasons why CARS shouldn’t be allowed on roads: safety, pollution, climate change, obesity.

No. Bikes are allowed to be in any lane off the road. As a courtesy, cyclists will often ride on the left to allow cars to pass, but this is not a legal requirement.

Sebastian Mueller11:16 am 10 Feb 21

Scott, not sure where you’re getting all your information from. Would be good to understand how you justify that bicycles do not comply with Australian Design Rules. I’ll let the OHS (WHS) comment fly…

Let’s unpack the insurance argument. Most cyclists have some form of insurance, whether it be through a cycling club, Pedal Power, health insurance etc. So your claim here is misleading & inaccurate.

As for registration. There’s plenty of research on why this would be ineffective & that in actual fact, more people choosing to cycle is actually a benefit to all road users. Here is one article stating this – https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-feed/opinion-bicycle-registration-is-not-the-answer-for-bad-behaviour

And your sense of entitlement to illegally obstruct traffic illustrates the problem entirely.

Yes, you are allowed on any lane of the road, but you must not obstruct traffic. Doing 30 in an 80 zone is absolutely obstructing traffic.

“Most cyclists have some form of insurance”
Citation needed. I flat out don’t believe this claim that “most” cyclist even carry basic third party injury insurance for their bike. Calling other peoples claims misleading and inaccurate when you are flat out making things up doesn’t lend any credibility to your argument.

Capital Retro1:23 pm 10 Feb 21

I always extend “courtesies” to cyclists even though I am not legally obliged to and I am sure many others would too.

I think that riding on the inside lane would be more a common sense action than a “courtesy” too but sometimes “rights” overrule common sense.

“I can come up with a list of reasons why CARS shouldn’t be allowed on roads: safety, pollution, climate change, obesity.”.

Roads are built for cars. Cyclists are like in-laws – they’re only welcome on our terms.

Capital Retro2:29 pm 10 Feb 21

There’s that “rights” thing again.

keek, you dont seem to know the road rules. Riding a bicycle (or driving a bulldozer or tractor for example) at below the speed limit is absolutely NOT illegal.

Roads are NOT built for cars. Roads are built for vehicles. Bicycles are vehicles. Interestingly, historically roads started being paved (ie sealed) for bicycles in the late 1800’s long before cars become popular. You’re welcome.

PedalPower is the ACT’s cycling body. It has about 7800 members. It provides liability insurance: https://www.pedalpower.org.au/membership/insurance/

That is not a citation. That is an interest group overstating their membership.

You are wrong yet again. Why are you continually wrong? Why do you think incorrectly referring to the road rules helps your argument?
It is absolutely illegal for a bulldozer or tractor to obstruct traffic. Please reference the section of the ACT road rules that allows them to travel substantially below the speed limit and hog the road.

I’m not sure what you would regard as adequate evidence. Perhaps you would like me to personally count the membership database? Maybe you were a bit surprised by the size of its membership! PedalPower is THE cycling advocacy body in the ACT. It seems like you are set in your ways and beliefs, and no amount of evidence will shake your incorrect views. Best of luck to you, and please drive safely. Especially around vulnerable legitimate road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.

Why are you continually making up lies?

Nobody cares about pedalpowers fake claims. Even if their membership was 7800, I’m going to take an educated guess that 7800 is not even close to the “majority” of people who ride a bike. The claim being made was nonsense.

Membership includes insurance, so all its members have paid for insurance.

You asked for a citation, I gave you a citation. PedalPower represents ACT cyclists. Your blinkered view of the world refuses to believe it.

keek, as you don’t appear to know the road rules, here is an extract from ‘ACT Road Rules Handbook January 2019’. This is a short extract, as long entries are word limited.


Cyclists and drivers
Motorists must take care and show consideration when sharing the roads with cyclists, who have the same legal rights and obligations as other road users. Although Canberra has cycle paths, it is not compulsory for cyclists to use them. Some people prefer to use the roads when riding a bicycle as they often provide a more direct route, a well maintained and even surface, have less curves and fewer
interactions with pedestrians than paths. When riding on roads with a marked bicycle lane, cyclists must ride in that lane unless it’s not practical to do so (e.g. a car is parked in the lane or there is debris or other hazards). All road users must share the responsibility for road safety. However, when driving a car, you need to remember that cyclists have less protection than motorists and are more likely to be injured or killed if a crash happens.

Most relevant words to this discussion in that extract, “Motorists must take care and show consideration when sharing the roads with cyclists, who have the same legal rights and obligations as other road users.”

And my previous comment about roads being sealed for bicycles:

“19th century cyclists paved the way for modern motorists’ roads
Car drivers assume the roads were built for them, but it was cyclists who first lobbied for flat roads more than 100 years ago”


Capital Retro9:32 pm 10 Feb 21

Is there a section that says: “Cyclists must take care and show consideration when sharing the roads with motorists, who have the same legal rights and obligations as other road users.”

Best read it yourself. What is this reluctance with some car drivers to actually read and know the road rules?

Capital Retro7:31 am 11 Feb 21

I thought Pedal Power was the trade union that represents the rights of cyclists because they certainly have a cosy relationship with the ACT Labor government.

rationalobserver8:30 am 11 Feb 21

How do I lodge a claim against the idiot on a bike who hit me whilst I was walking over the kings avenue bridge last week, and then just rode off?
I didn’t catch the number plate, but I can describe him. Skinny. Effeminate, dressed like a clown.

Sebastian Mueller9:07 am 11 Feb 21

Hi Keek, looks like a bunch of others have provided the citation you requested & substantiate my comments. Since it appears you are confused by the road rules. Here’s some reading for you:

I asked for a citation that the majority of cyclists carry insurance for their bike. You have shown that pedal power members have insurance, not that the majority of people riding push bikes have third party for their bike.

The first paved roads are from around 4000BC, just a little way before the invention of the bicycle. Wrong again….

And again, these rules state exactly what I have been saying. “Cyclists have the same legal rights and obligations as other road users” does not mean cyclists are exempt from road rules regarding obstructing traffic. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Keek, please show the section in the road rules that says that bad drivers (as you are outing yourself as) have permission to run into slower moving vehicles.

Keek do other road users a favour, hand in your driver’s licence*. Safe driving is also attitude and you have failed on that.

*I am presuming you have a car licence.

Just leave keen be, no point rationalising with people that scream fake news to anything that they have disagreements with.

every member of every cycling club in every city and town in australia has PLI. It is a condition of membership.

So do those who are in their state or organisation like Pedal Power (ACT), Bicycle Network Victoria etc.

So do those who have a relevant PLI component in their home and contents insurance etc…

the same way as i can claim against the unidentified (and possibly unlicenced) driver that hit me in a stolen car, with fake plates, and no rego before doing a runner and leaving me for dead….?

All motorised vehicles should be banned from the roads for their safety and that of other road users. They account for unacceptably high mortality in Australia. Since 1989 at least 21,800 drivers, 11,876 passengers, 7,665 pedestrians, and 5,891 motorcyclists have been killed on the roads. Wholly unreasonable to ignore the risks involved in driving a motorised vehicle on the road. And pedestrians need to pay rego, wear number plates, and have third party insurance! (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-25/every-road-death-in-australia-since-1989/9353794?nw=0)

Capital Retro12:49 pm 11 Feb 21

I’ll bet you are a cyclist?

They don’t have the same rights and obligations.

Drivers are not required to use helmets. Cyclists are (unless granted an exemption from that rule such as on medical, cultural or other grounds). Drivers have to indicate changes of lane in both directions. Cyclists only need to indicate left hand turns. Cyclists don’t need to wear seatbelts. Cyclists can pass stationary or slow traffic on the left hand side etc. I can go on with plenty more.

Nobody ever made that claim. Why are you upset that you made my point for me? Cyclists have the same legal rights AND OBLIGATIONS as other road users. They have an obligation to not obstruct traffic by being unable to travel anywhere near the posted speed limit while hogging up an entire lane, when they could use some common sense and decency, and keep off to one side as far as is practical.

You riding a bike does not give you the legal right to be a pest and rolling road hazard.

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