Skip to content Skip to main navigation

News

We'll switch your business
to Led lighting for Free*

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

By 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.

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
43 Responses to
For Gawd’s Sake! lets bring in rego for bikes
tim_c 11:38 am 18 Nov 13

You should ask them to explain:
“You don’t pay rego”
“No, I’m not required to – but what’s that got to do with anything?”
Don’t make accusations or statements (even if you are right), ask polite but firm questions and get them to do the explaining.

As for Dudley Street, I used to often ride along there and I would always make a point of picking a gap in the traffic and then moving well out from the edge of the road (ie. about 1 m from the edge line) as I approached the crest, being sure to keep moving at a good rate (so I didn’t delay people unnecessarily) and then to move far over to the left immediately when the view ahead was clear again – usually only a couple of seconds later. This made it clear to even the stupidest drivers that it wasn’t safe to overtake (as well as giving me more ‘buffer’ space), and any people that tried to had to be fully on the wrong side of the road – MOST people were too uncomfortable with this and seemed to understand – the double unbroken lines are there for a reason afterall. I only ever got berated once for this approach, and that was only by a tradie who typically aren’t even half as bright as their low-IQ-warning safety shirts. It seemed it caught him by surprise more than annoying him, but if he’d stopped to argue about it, I’d have said something along the lines of “I knew you weren’t going to overtake when it wasn’t safe anyway”. Granted, it’s about 5 years since I worked in Yarralumla so I don’t travel there anymore and Canberra’s road-users seem to be getting more ignorant and aggressive rather than less.

Whether I was in the car or on my bike, I always found that people travelling into Deakin in the mornings were amongst the most rude, most impatient and most aggressive in South Canberra. I now also try to avoid driving or cycling in/through Barton for much the same reason.

gasman 10:53 am 18 Nov 13

dtc said :

You can get cycling insurance through bike groups (pedal power, for example), but I agree. More easily available cycling insurance would be worthwhile.

I am a member of PedalPower and with that membership I get third party insurance to cover any damage that my bike and riding may do. It is obviously far less than I pay for car third party insurance because the potential for injury is far, far less on a bike than with a car.

dtc said :

In other words, if you confront a driver soon after the incident you are going to get a very defensive (or aggressively defensive) response. It may be guilt, it may be just ignorance. So basing your reaction (rego) on their reaction is using the wrong statistics, as it were.

Hopefully your comments to them make some of them think, later on, about their actions and make them aware of the risks – after all, the best way to learn is to make a mistake and then not make it again (hopefully without hurting anyone). But you are rarely going to get a sensible immediate response.

Occasionally when I confront a driver about their bad driving, I get a “Sorry mate”. Most of the time, I get a “F^&* Off”. This week was special in that I got 3 almost identical responses about rego.

zorro29 10:38 am 18 Nov 13

they really said that to you? Idiots

I have no idea what that has to do with anything…I own a car (and naturally pay rego) but cycle most places whenever I can (good exercise, better for the environment, no parking needed, and reduces traffic congestion).

Does that mean we can run over pedestrians as well? Sweeeeeeet.

Sadly, as cyclists, we need to be the most cautious of anyone on the roads – we need to watch for moronic cars and hapless pedestrians. Sure keeps us alert but it can be hairy at times.

Glad you’re ok anyway but it sucks it happens so often.

spinact 10:33 am 18 Nov 13

Queen_of_the_Bun said :

I drive very limited kms. Narrabundah to Barton and back for work. Last week alone I had a female cyclist wobbling in and out of the bike lane on Captain Cook Crescent because she was texting, two days in a row one adult and two child cyclists ride into my path at speed across the pedestrian crossing at Captain Cook and Canberra Ave intersection, and a cyclist ride across two lanes of traffic so he could turn right down National Circuit.

I have no desire to hit a cyclist. I think the rego comments go more to the idea that you have take lessons and pass a test to drive a car, whereas anyone can ride a bike anywhere, any time. You can be banned for driving for DUI etc but can still get on a bike and ride anywhere. You can be just as much of a dickhead on two wheels as you can on four – it’s just that there are legal consequences for drivers that don’t seem to apply to cyclists. And that’s why we hate you. You scare the bejesus out of us.

The pedestrian crossing at Captain Cook and Canberra Ave intersection is a strange one. The bike lane on Captain Cook is actually diverted off the road onto the footpath then to the crossing before leading across Canberra Avenue. There’s a big sign at the pedestrian crossing that says watch for bicycles. The whole set up of the bike lane through that interection indicates to me that bikes are allowed to ride through the pedestrian crossing.

PantsMan 10:31 am 18 Nov 13

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/

Solidarity 10:25 am 18 Nov 13

My bike is registered.

dtc 9:52 am 18 Nov 13

La_Tour_Maubourg said :

If a cyclist were to collide with a vehicle/pedestrian/other cyclist, how does the cyclist arrange repairs/medical treatment? Perhaps a cyclist insurance program could be added with registration.

You can get cycling insurance through bike groups (pedal power, for example), but I agree. More easily available cycling insurance would be worthwhile.

That said, for the OP, remember that if you confront a driver then you have to deal with:

1. no one likes being told they are wrong at any time
2. drivers feel they are the power in the relationship (faster, bigger, heavier than you) and people in power like being told they are wrong even less than the rest of us
3. 95% of people think they are above average drivers.

In other words, if you confront a driver soon after the incident you are going to get a very defensive (or aggressively defensive) response. It may be guilt, it may be just ignorance. So basing your reaction (rego) on their reaction is using the wrong statistics, as it were.

Hopefully your comments to them make some of them think, later on, about their actions and make them aware of the risks – after all, the best way to learn is to make a mistake and then not make it again (hopefully without hurting anyone). But you are rarely going to get a sensible immediate response.

La_Tour_Maubourg 9:20 am 18 Nov 13

If a cyclist were to collide with a vehicle/pedestrian/other cyclist, how does the cyclist arrange repairs/medical treatment? Perhaps a cyclist insurance program could be added with registration.

Leon 9:07 am 18 Nov 13

BimboGeek said :

Don’t they still teach road rules and bike safety in primary school?

If they taught the road rules in primary school, more people would know that a turning driver must give way to pedestrians who are crossing the road the driver is entering.

BimboGeek 10:07 pm 17 Nov 13

Don’t they still teach road rules and bike safety in primary school?

KB1971 7:32 pm 17 Nov 13

Having rego on a vehicle doesn’t stop people from being farktards, effective policing does.

Queen_of_the_Bun 7:24 pm 17 Nov 13

I drive very limited kms. Narrabundah to Barton and back for work. Last week alone I had a female cyclist wobbling in and out of the bike lane on Captain Cook Crescent because she was texting, two days in a row one adult and two child cyclists ride into my path at speed across the pedestrian crossing at Captain Cook and Canberra Ave intersection, and a cyclist ride across two lanes of traffic so he could turn right down National Circuit.

I have no desire to hit a cyclist. I think the rego comments go more to the idea that you have take lessons and pass a test to drive a car, whereas anyone can ride a bike anywhere, any time. You can be banned for driving for DUI etc but can still get on a bike and ride anywhere. You can be just as much of a dickhead on two wheels as you can on four – it’s just that there are legal consequences for drivers that don’t seem to apply to cyclists. And that’s why we hate you. You scare the bejesus out of us.

Antagonist 7:00 pm 17 Nov 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Far too many retards around. The majority of them are driving cars.

It is an economy of numbers. You will find there are equal numbers of retards in the populations of cyclists and cars. It is just that there are more cars on the roads than cyclists.

I do not see any benefit in making cyclists pay rego, but cyclists should be have to demonstrate that they know the road rules before being allowed on the road. Similar to the motorcycle ‘Stay Upright’ courses, or the old education centres that were run by the police complete with little roads, roundabouts, traffic lights, line markings, signs and similar to educate school kids.

In most instances, I think cyclists are their own worst enemies. The indignant ‘I have right of way’ or ‘I have as much right to be here as you’ attitude will not mean d!ck if your dead mangled corpse is being scraped off the road. Kudos to the OP who seems to have enough brains to keep themselves alive by being aware that some drivers are just ignorant pricks.

Pork Hunt 6:42 pm 17 Nov 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Far too many retards around. The majority of them are driving cars.

Are these POS or non POS retards?

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 6:11 pm 17 Nov 13

Far too many retards around. The majority of them are driving cars.

1 2 3

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site