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For Gawd’s Sake! lets bring in rego for bikes

gasman 17 November 2013 43

I am aware this will become a bike vs car thread. So be it.

You own a cra, not the road

This past week, during my usual bicycle commutes to and from work, I had three separate but related incidents with cars.

1. Riding along Dudley St, Yarralumla, car swings wide to overtake me with a blind crest ahead, gets surprised when oncoming traffic appears over the crest, and veers left to avoid car, towards me. I swerve off the road to avoid being hit.

2. Riding along a nice, wide, straight bit of road in Aranda. Car overtakes me and immediately does a hook turn left, across my path. I have to hit the brakes hard to avoid hitting the car.

3. Scrivener Dam lookout entrance road has a Give Way sign where it crosses the bike path. I’m riding along bike path, truck fails to give way and almost barrels into me.

By themselves, these incidents are nothing special. These close calls happen often. I survive by assuming any particular car will do the most idiotic thing possible at any given point, and I take steps to avoid a collision before it happens. (I should point out that the majority of drivers are considerate, careful and even courteous drivers, but it only takes one idiot driver for me to lose my one life).

What makes this past week of interest is that in each of these three cases I managed to catch up to each driver at the next intersection and had a brief, and polite (at my side) chat. The chat entailed my simply asking if they recognised that their actions were contrary to the law, and even worse, life-threateningly dangerous to me, father of 3, husband of 1.

But that’s not the interesting bit. What really made this a stand-out week of close calls, was that in all three instances, the drivers replied “You don’t pay rego” but in more creative and colourful language.

Each time, I was gobsmacked by the banality of the drivers’ responses. They drove off, smug in their slapdown logic, before I could formulate a reasoned reply, but in case they are reading this, here it is:

Firstly, I do pay rego. Most cyclists do. I own 2 cars. I pay rego for them. I simply choose to ride a bike whenever possible.

But so what? What logic are those 3 drivers trying to use? Does paying rego somehow give you the right to break the road rules, and drive like a homicidal maniac? Does paying a few hundred dollars in rego somehow give you more rights on the road than other road users? Do they seriously believe that rego pays for the cost of building and maintaining roads?

Car registration pays only for the administrative costs of registering cars (thats why its called “rego”) and CTP pays for the medical costs of those people maimed by car crashes (rarely are they “accidents”). Roads are paid for from general tax revenue, such as income tax, rates, land tax and GST. These are taxes that we (cyclists included) all pay.

You own a car, NOT the road.

Maybe they think rego will make cyclists more accountable. True, some cyclists ride through red lights. I don’t. Those that do put themselves (but nobody else) at risk, and they are knobs. Paying rego won’t stop them.

Back to my original post heading. (Warning – sarcasm ahead): I would happily pay rego for my bike. This, as I understand it from the 3 philosophers I met this week, will finally give me the moral right to ride a bicycle on Canberra’s roads. It should also shut up the inane bleating of car drivers who’s only excuse for dangerous and inconsiderate driving is the claim that we don’t pay rego.


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43 Responses to
For Gawd’s Sake! lets bring in rego for bikes
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SidneyReilly 2:49 pm 03 Jan 16

Registering bikes is like trying to control marbles on the deck of a roling ship.BUT it may be sensible to register adult cyclists. Still regstering Bycycles is done several over seas cities do it. But I dont know what the cyclists objection to this is… is it just a financial issue for cyclists or are there issues of pure emotional bias?
Yet in these days of hi tech where someone can track your every nuance via your smart phone I cant see why this cant be electronic. If the ACT Legislative Assembly could be shown a model that made them money it would be done before I finished typing….Its not about big brother, its not about sharing the costs of roads and infrastructure but it is about safety for both sides., Talking to a girl in a chequout queue the other day her leg in plaster, seems she was getting out of a vehicle parked legally at the kerb when she was hit by a cyclist, she said he was very nice about called an ambulance who called police and now she is concerned because she has to sue the cyclist to recover her medical bills. “Ahh dont worry I said phone Mal Meninga, he’ll get it all done for free – as if”

Antagonist 5:11 pm 19 Nov 13

gasman said :

gasman said :

I try to be confrontative, and try my best to be polite. But I think it is important to stand up for our rights, especially as we as cyclists are benefitting everybody.

Edit – what I meant to write was that I try NOT to be confrontative.

Based on your story in the OP, I think you got it right the first time. I call BS on your edit.

gasman 3:41 pm 19 Nov 13

gasman said :

I try to be confrontative, and try my best to be polite. But I think it is important to stand up for our rights, especially as we as cyclists are benefitting everybody.

Edit – what I meant to write was that I try NOT to be confrontative.

gasman 3:38 pm 19 Nov 13

Gungahlin Al said :

Gasman, that’s an outstanding bit of clickbaiting worthy of MamaMia! 🙂

Do you mean the title or the pic? Either way, I’ll take it as a compliment!

Gungahlin Al said :

I experience much the same sorts of attitudes as you. I try to stay awy from on-road cycling as much as I can but there are places it is unavoidable, given the ACT Gov obsession with taking the cheap for for many years.

I think DTC summed it up pretty well. Don’t expect logic on the spot – fight or flight kicks in. Just hope the embarrassment sinks in later and causes a rethink.

I try to be confrontative, and try my best to be polite. But I think it is important to stand up for our rights, especially as we as cyclists are benefitting everybody.

Gungahlin Al 2:11 pm 19 Nov 13

Gasman, that’s an outstanding bit of clickbaiting worthy of MamaMia! 🙂

I experience much the same sorts of attitudes as you. I try to stay awy from on-road cycling as much as I can but there are places it is unavoidable, given the ACT Gov obsession with taking the cheap for for many years.

I think DTC summed it up pretty well. Don’t expect logic on the spot – fight or flight kicks in. Just hope the embarrassment sinks in later and causes a rethink.

Solidarity 2:02 pm 19 Nov 13

gasman said :

Solidarity said :

The thing about the cyclist rant is that it is totally useless

It doesn’t matter what cyclists say about motorists, it doesn’t matter what they go on about

It doesn’t make a lick of difference, cause when you’re dead, you’re dead. People driving cars aren’t going to suddenly start paying attention and being courteous, it’s not until they kill a cyclist they might start to realise what they are capable of… you know, the whole “it’ll never happen to me”

I disagree. I have cycled extensively in Europe, Canada, and the USA. Nowhere have I encountered the same level of driver impatience, intolerance and aggression as I do here in Canberra. While some of those places have better cycling infrastructure than Canberra, and some have worse, the main thing that makes the difference is car driver attitude. I got treated with more respect on the roads in car-centric California than I do here in my home town.

People can be informed and educated, and attitudes can change. The more people cycle, and the more we stand up for our rights, the safer the practice will become.

Our difference in attitudes are this – I’ve accepted that Canberran drivers are douchebags, and take this into account when I make my decision to ride. You on the other hand, seem content shouting at the brick wall of Canberran driver ignorance and playing the blame game….

Nothings going to change.

gasman 1:38 pm 19 Nov 13

Henry82 said :

gasman said :

As some sort of comeback, I have invested in the Rideye project on Kickstarter..

To me, unless you’re doing >3.5hr rides, might as well just use the ContourRoam2 – which has smoother edges and not pre-order for 9 months time. If you have an accident, the camera will run out of battery or space anyway, so saving footage isn’t a problem.

Also, video proof doesn’t really help when you’re stuck under a car – you might be legally in the right, but you’re still dead/mangled/injured

I used to ride with 2 GoPro cameras, one facing forward, and one backwards. I needs to recharge every day, then insert the memory card into a computer to manully delete the video clips. It’s not a huge burden, but it was enough of a hassle for me not to bother after a while.

The rideye is not available yet,hopefully March 2014. It eliminates most of the hassle by having 24 hour battery life and a continuous lop recording system. The crash detection is a bonus.

The point of a video camera is not just for evidence (and most car/bike interactions do not result in death) but also as a deterant. If car drivers know that many/most cyclists ride with cameras they will drive more responsibly.

gasman 1:29 pm 19 Nov 13

Solidarity said :

The thing about the cyclist rant is that it is totally useless

It doesn’t matter what cyclists say about motorists, it doesn’t matter what they go on about

It doesn’t make a lick of difference, cause when you’re dead, you’re dead. People driving cars aren’t going to suddenly start paying attention and being courteous, it’s not until they kill a cyclist they might start to realise what they are capable of… you know, the whole “it’ll never happen to me”

I disagree. I have cycled extensively in Europe, Canada, and the USA. Nowhere have I encountered the same level of driver impatience, intolerance and aggression as I do here in Canberra. While some of those places have better cycling infrastructure than Canberra, and some have worse, the main thing that makes the difference is car driver attitude. I got treated with more respect on the roads in car-centric California than I do here in my home town.

People can be informed and educated, and attitudes can change. The more people cycle, and the more we stand up for our rights, the safer the practice will become.

Pork Hunt 12:26 pm 19 Nov 13

gasman said :

Pork Hunt said :

gasman said :

As some sort of comeback, I have invested in the Rideye project on Kickstarter.

Unlike existing action cameras, like the GoPro, which need frequent charging and manual memory card management, the Rideye is like a black box flight recorder for your bike. Battery lasts a month of rides, video is recorded in a continuous loop (when the memory is full, it starts to over-write the oldest clips) and it has a crash-detection sensor that will automatically save the video at the time of a collision.

I’m publicising this to encourage more cyclists to use video cameras. Once a certain critical mass of cyclists have video cameras, and car drivers know it, the more safely they will drive around us.

I can’t wait for the outcry when a cyclist then has the video used as evidence against them and against their wishes. The day cannot be too far away when the plod will seize a camera from a vehicle involved in a stack.

In my experience when there is a dangerous or life-threatening incident between a car and a bike, the car is at fault 99% of the time. So I more than happy to ride with a video camera on my bike.

Further, I find it disturbing that you are implying that the most vulnerable party is to blame in car vs bike incidents. Australia has about 40-70 bike deaths per year, the majority caused by cars and trucks. How many car driver deaths caused by bicycles can you come up with?

In the first sentence, I was referring to cyclists running red lights etc. Sorry, should have been clearer. In the second, I did mean “vehicle” to cover all forms of wheeled transport.

Solidarity 11:27 am 19 Nov 13

The thing about the cyclist rant is that it is totally useless

It doesn’t matter what cyclists say about motorists, it doesn’t matter what they go on about

It doesn’t make a lick of difference, cause when you’re dead, you’re dead. People driving cars aren’t going to suddenly start paying attention and being courteous, it’s not until they kill a cyclist they might start to realise what they are capable of… you know, the whole “it’ll never happen to me”

dtc 11:20 am 19 Nov 13

blah blah blah

fromthecapital said :

Couldn’ put it better myself.

Link: http://catallaxyfiles.com/2013/11/09/roads-and-the-wheel/

.

Wow, that is a fantastic example of reductio ad absurdum. Indeed, its so absurd I’m wondering whether it is being done sarcastically. Its hard, on the internet, to figure that out.

gasman 11:05 am 19 Nov 13

Pork Hunt said :

gasman said :

As some sort of comeback, I have invested in the Rideye project on Kickstarter.

Unlike existing action cameras, like the GoPro, which need frequent charging and manual memory card management, the Rideye is like a black box flight recorder for your bike. Battery lasts a month of rides, video is recorded in a continuous loop (when the memory is full, it starts to over-write the oldest clips) and it has a crash-detection sensor that will automatically save the video at the time of a collision.

I’m publicising this to encourage more cyclists to use video cameras. Once a certain critical mass of cyclists have video cameras, and car drivers know it, the more safely they will drive around us.

I can’t wait for the outcry when a cyclist then has the video used as evidence against them and against their wishes. The day cannot be too far away when the plod will seize a camera from a vehicle involved in a stack.

In my experience when there is a dangerous or life-threatening incident between a car and a bike, the car is at fault 99% of the time. So I more than happy to ride with a video camera on my bike.

Further, I find it disturbing that you are implying that the most vulnerable party is to blame in car vs bike incidents. Australia has about 40-70 bike deaths per year, the majority caused by cars and trucks. How many car driver deaths caused by bicycles can you come up with?

Henry82 10:58 am 19 Nov 13

gasman said :

As some sort of comeback, I have invested in the Rideye project on Kickstarter..

To me, unless you’re doing >3.5hr rides, might as well just use the ContourRoam2 – which has smoother edges and not pre-order for 9 months time. If you have an accident, the camera will run out of battery or space anyway, so saving footage isn’t a problem.

Also, video proof doesn’t really help when you’re stuck under a car – you might be legally in the right, but you’re still dead/mangled/injured

KB1971 8:02 am 19 Nov 13

gasman said :

Grrrr said :

gasman said :

Going around a roundabout, I also take up the entire lane to avoid cars trying to overtake inside the roundabout (I kid you not – they will do this is given a chance!)

The road rules are a little unclear whether or not this is legal.

The road rules are unclear whether cars are allowed to overtake bicycles on a single-lane roundabout? I think they’re pretty clear – it’s not allowed.

No, I meant the road rules at not clear whether or not it is legal for a bicycle to ride in the centre of a lane, obstructing the car traffic, in order to prevent car rom overtaking in a dangerous situation.

The road rules say all vehicles must travel as far to the left as “practicable”. There is another rule that states it is illegal to obstruct traffic. But what if I obstruct traffic to prevent that traffic from being dangerous?

I wouldnt call it obstructing the traffic if you are punting along and trying to keep the flow. As you know, you are quicker though most roundabouts than cars anyway. Taking the lane is the best thing to do and it is my understanding that any “vehicle” is allowed to use the whole lane.

If you were tidlding along at 5km/h or deliberatley weaving to slow the traffic down then I say, yes, that is a problem.

I see the obstruction bit as being a deliberate act. If you are riding down the road to get to your destination you are not obstructing anything.

Its something Canberra drivers really struggle with; slower vehicles on the road like backhoes, graders and cyclists. As a driver (& I am one too), you have to deal with slower traffic, its a fact of life. Its not that hard.

Pork Hunt 6:30 am 19 Nov 13

gasman said :

As some sort of comeback, I have invested in the Rideye project on Kickstarter.

Unlike existing action cameras, like the GoPro, which need frequent charging and manual memory card management, the Rideye is like a black box flight recorder for your bike. Battery lasts a month of rides, video is recorded in a continuous loop (when the memory is full, it starts to over-write the oldest clips) and it has a crash-detection sensor that will automatically save the video at the time of a collision.

I’m publicising this to encourage more cyclists to use video cameras. Once a certain critical mass of cyclists have video cameras, and car drivers know it, the more safely they will drive around us.

I can’t wait for the outcry when a cyclist then has the video used as evidence against them and against their wishes. The day cannot be too far away when the plod will seize a camera from a vehicle involved in a stack.

fromthecapital 10:16 pm 18 Nov 13

PantsMan said :

The ACT idiotic infatuation with bicycles as part of our anti-capitalist agenda has been noticed by the righties at the Catallaxyfiles. They had this to say on Mr Rattenbury’s Road User Hierarchy:

The wheel led to a major change in the efficiency of transportation of goods and people. It facilitated migration and trade.

Ultimately paved roads were built, especially by the Romans, to allow an increase in the speed and reliability of wheeled transportation.

For that is the principal purpose of a road – to increase the efficiency of wheeled transport, especially large vehicles like cars and trucks.

Yet the ACT Greens want to unwind thousands of years of advances by prioritising pedestrians above wheeled vehicles. Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury wants a ‘road users hierarchy’ with pedestrians number 1 followed by cyclists and so on down to cars and trucks at the bottom (as he is a keen cyclist, isn’t there a conflict of interest in ranking bicycles above cars?)

This is a loony-tunes idea. Can you imagine how pompous pedestrians will behave knowing that they have priority over everything else – why stick to a pedestrian crossing? It would further fuel the culture of entitlement and rights.

How warm and cuddly Canberra will seem after the harsh austerities of Europe. With such priorities, the justification for providing sealed roads to the new suburbs seems dubious – clearly people would flock to suburbs where they could be secure from nasty cars and rely on bicycle paths.

Rattenbury also says that a 40 km/h trial speed limit in town centres has been ‘well received by the public’. Not by me buddy.

If 50 km/h is better than 60 km/h, and 40 km/h is better than 50 km/h, why stop at 40?

In 1865 the UK Parliament passed the Locomotives on Highways Act. The Act provided that all mechanically powered road vehicles must:
?Have three drivers
?Not exceed 4 mph (6.4 kph) on the open road and 2 mph (3.2 kph) in towns; and
?Be preceded by a man on foot waving a red flag to warn the public.

Is this the objective Rattenbury has in mind?

Couldn’ put it better myself.

Link: http://catallaxyfiles.com/2013/11/09/roads-and-the-wheel/

I thought the romans built roads for their soldiers to walk around on?

Please, tell me more about how efficient it is for individuals to get around in 2 tonne vehicles.

gasman 9:43 pm 18 Nov 13

As some sort of comeback, I have invested in the Rideye project on Kickstarter.

Unlike existing action cameras, like the GoPro, which need frequent charging and manual memory card management, the Rideye is like a black box flight recorder for your bike. Battery lasts a month of rides, video is recorded in a continuous loop (when the memory is full, it starts to over-write the oldest clips) and it has a crash-detection sensor that will automatically save the video at the time of a collision.

I’m publicising this to encourage more cyclists to use video cameras. Once a certain critical mass of cyclists have video cameras, and car drivers know it, the more safely they will drive around us.

Alderney 5:58 pm 18 Nov 13

The rego thing is such a cop-out.

All the available research points to rego being more expensive to administer than it collects in revenue. Otherwise countless jurisdictions around the world would be doing it.

Are dipshits like those who’ve nearly run you off the road this week going to be happy to pick up the short fall? I think not.

Pork Hunt 5:06 pm 18 Nov 13

gasman said :

Grrrr said :

gasman said :

Going around a roundabout, I also take up the entire lane to avoid cars trying to overtake inside the roundabout (I kid you not – they will do this is given a chance!)

The road rules are a little unclear whether or not this is legal.

The road rules are unclear whether cars are allowed to overtake bicycles on a single-lane roundabout? I think they’re pretty clear – it’s not allowed.

No, I meant the road rules at not clear whether or not it is legal for a bicycle to ride in the centre of a lane, obstructing the car traffic, in order to prevent car rom overtaking in a dangerous situation.

The road rules say all vehicles must travel as far to the left as “practicable”. There is another rule that states it is illegal to obstruct traffic. But what if I obstruct traffic to prevent that traffic from being dangerous?

That’s what people like C&GN do.

Solidarity 4:32 pm 18 Nov 13

Is negligent bicycling a thing? Wobblers need to be off the road. So do fixie riding hipsters walking their bikes in the middle of the left hand lane on Hindmarsh right after the blind corner.

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