Skip to content Skip to main navigation

It’s all your fault! The ultimate cyclist troll?

By Holden Caulfield 16 October 2013 55

On Ride2Work day it’s probably worth having a chat about a proposal from Pedal Power, who would like the national road rules changed to:

“place the responsibility for a crash involving a bicycle and another vehicle on the driver of the other vehicle, unless the driver can prove that the person on the bicycle was clearly at fault – so that the person in the most dangerous vehicle has the most responsibility”

That claim forms a small part of their submission to the Vulnerable Road Users Inquiry. You can read Pedal Power’s full 36 page document here.

Despite a bit of “steel cocoon” rhetoric there’s some decent points being made. The Riot Act even gets a mention!

Of course, most motorist v cyclist problems could be solved if more road users, regardless of their mode of transport, were prepared to chill a little and act with a greater sense of calm and cooperation.


What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
55 Responses to
It’s all your fault! The ultimate cyclist troll?
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newest
Aeek 7:49 pm 16 Oct 13

KB1971 said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

Also need one for the back in case the rider goes up ur rear end, and one facing the driver so you can prove you did two shoulder checks before you turned left in front of the cyclist pelting along doing 35 in the bike lane. Guilty until proven innocent is not the Australian way. This is just plain wrong. One set of rules for all vehicles, bicycles included. Not a dozen variations depending on what vehicle you drive.

So, you are driving up the middle lane on Northbourne & need to turn left onto Barry Drive. Would you just turn across the path of another vehicle and expect them not hit you when they dont have time to react?

How is this any different to a bicycle in a bike lane.

Also, what speed should a bike be doing in this bike lane?

We also have variant rules for heavy vehicles, when needed – use multiple lanes of roundabout, turn from a further lane, etc. Basically, when it is physically impossible for them to do otherwise.

That said, I will often pull out of the bike lane, north bound, approaching Barry Drive to save myself from late/non signallers trying to kill me.

wildturkeycanoe 7:18 pm 16 Oct 13

KB1971 said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

Also need one for the back in case the rider goes up ur rear end, and one facing the driver so you can prove you did two shoulder checks before you turned left in front of the cyclist pelting along doing 35 in the bike lane. Guilty until proven innocent is not the Australian way. This is just plain wrong. One set of rules for all vehicles, bicycles included. Not a dozen variations depending on what vehicle you drive.

So, you are driving up the middle lane on Northbourne & need to turn left onto Barry Drive. Would you just turn across the path of another vehicle and expect them not hit you when they dont have time to react?

How is this any different to a bicycle in a bike lane.

Also, what speed should a bike be doing in this bike lane?

No, I am not in the middle lane, I am in the left lane, looking to turn left into say – Barry Drive. Because I am in the left lane and doing say 50km/h as I approach the left hand turn slip lane, I am probably looking first to see if a pedestrian is crossing to the island, then looking right to see if any traffic is coming through the intersection. Because there wasn’t any cyclist to my left in the 100 meters or so before getting to the intersection, I have no need to check to the left. Yet, in the time it has taken me to slow down, check crossing and intersection, the cyclist I passed half way back down the block has caught up and comes up to meet my left front fender with a lot of yelling and cursing. If I had to wait for a pedestrian at the crossing, I’d be blocking the bike lane and said cyclist would then whiz through the crossing as well, instead of politely waiting for me to move on.
It’s just a me, me, me attitude with cyclists, wanting right of way no matter which way they want to go. One second they are a vehicle, then they are a bike, then they are a pedestrian traveling at 20km/h atop two wheels.
As for your scenario, okay, I am in the middle lane turning left. I put on my indicator, wait for the vehicle in the left lane to ease back and merge into that lane. If the vehicle in the left lane doesn’t heed the indicator and charges up from behind, running into my car which is at least a vehicle’s length ahead, it is the fault of the vehicle behind who did not stop in time. Like ACTION buses, if they are indicating and you are well behind them, you must give way. This philosophy should go down the order to cyclists, who in this case should give way to a vehicle ahead that is indicating and turning into their lane. It’s called common courtesy. Do you, when seeing someone changing into your lane up ahead, maintain your speed and run into that vehicle because you think you have right of way?
The bike lane right of way rule highlights the ridiculousness of two different rules for two different types of vehicles but occurring in the same circumstance.

chilli 7:13 pm 16 Oct 13

KB1971 said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

Also need one for the back in case the rider goes up ur rear end, and one facing the driver so you can prove you did two shoulder checks before you turned left in front of the cyclist pelting along doing 35 in the bike lane. Guilty until proven innocent is not the Australian way. This is just plain wrong. One set of rules for all vehicles, bicycles included. Not a dozen variations depending on what vehicle you drive.

So, you are driving up the middle lane on Northbourne & need to turn left onto Barry Drive. Would you just turn across the path of another vehicle and expect them not hit you when they dont have time to react?

How is this any different to a bicycle in a bike lane.

Also, what speed should a bike be doing in this bike lane?

KB 1971, that is a really, really good point. What speed should be permitted in a bike lane? Frankly, I think it must be pretty scary for the gentle, steady-as-she-goes kind of cyclists (ahem, yes, guilty) in the cycle lanes of major roads to have superspeed Lycra chaps whizzing past them, with no warning and in heavy traffic.

I’m aware that some cyclists who want cycling to double as their extreme sport exercise want to be able to pelt along at the maximum speed they can attain, but they pose a danger to other cyclists as well. I’m also aware of the argument that to encourage cycling as a viable transport option, people should be able to go fast to get from A to B in a reasonable time.

But what happens when your cycling priorities conflict with my cycling priorities (which is yes, get there in the end, but as sweat free as possible)? Who has right of way in the cyclist vs cyclist arena? Cycle lanes on roads are pretty narrow and there are already alot of unsympathetic cars around. And now, even with the dedicated, separate (pricey) cycle lanes around Civic, loads of cyclists go on the footpath or go the wrong way up the cycle paths.

It seems many cyclists are natural anarchists, which is all well and good until bones are broken. Some agreed and enforceable rules around bike speed and overtaking, and how to behave in traffic (for everyone) would be welcome by many road users.

chilli 6:41 pm 16 Oct 13

harvyk1 said :

Here is a thought, and no I’m not trolling, I’m been serious. Why not make all accidents the cyclists fault unless it can be proved otherwise?

You’re actively choosing to take a vehicle into an environment, which has a top speed far below just about every other vehicle in that environment. That vehicle is missing the majority of protections which most other vehicles in that environment enjoy, and in the event of an accident, you will be coming off second best.

So as a cyclist, you have made the choice to enter a dangerous environment ill-equipped to properly deal with that environment. So as a result, should anything go wrong whilst in that environment, it should be the person who chose to make the environment more dangerous than it needs be by creating an obstacle traveling at half the speed to all other road users.

I’m not stating that cyclists shouldn’t be on the roads (well I am when there is a for purpose cycle path right next to the road), but the responsibility of ensuring safe usage of the road should fall on the person who chose to use a vehicle which is incapable of traveling the speed limit in most cases.

Just food for thought…

Isn’t that kind of a “you asked for a bad thing to happen to you” kind of response to the problem, though? I don’t think that’s the right attitude to take towards the victim of any crime.

Yes, I think that it should be a legal requirement for cyclists to use an off road bike path if there’s one available (after all we’ve all paid for it to be there and it’s clearly safer for cyclists to be away from the traffic), but I don’t think it’s reasonable for cyclists to have to assume MORE liability than motor vehicles for being on the road (when legal and appropriate).

drfelonious 6:39 pm 16 Oct 13

harvyk1 said :

Here is a thought, and no I’m not trolling, I’m been serious. Why not make all accidents the cyclists fault unless it can be proved otherwise?

You’re actively choosing to take a vehicle into an environment, which has a top speed far below just about every other vehicle in that environment. That vehicle is missing the majority of protections which most other vehicles in that environment enjoy, and in the event of an accident, you will be coming off second best.

So as a cyclist, you have made the choice to enter a dangerous environment ill-equipped to properly deal with that environment. So as a result, should anything go wrong whilst in that environment, it should be the person who chose to make the environment more dangerous than it needs be by creating an obstacle traveling at half the speed to all other road users.

I’m not stating that cyclists shouldn’t be on the roads (well I am when there is a for purpose cycle path right next to the road), but the responsibility of ensuring safe usage of the road should fall on the person who chose to use a vehicle which is incapable of traveling the speed limit in most cases.

Just food for thought…

How’s your Jim’s Mowing franchise going harvyk1?

Sandman 6:17 pm 16 Oct 13

KB1971 said :

So, you are driving up the middle lane on Northbourne & need to turn left onto Barry Drive. Would you just turn across the path of another vehicle and expect them not hit you when they dont have time to react?

How is this any different to a bicycle in a bike lane.

Also, what speed should a bike be doing in this bike lane?

No, if you wish to turn left onto Barry Dr you’d be in the far left lane, not the middle one. The cycle lane presents a situation that shouldn’t be there and doesn’t exist in regular traffic situations , the need to check behind you to the left in order to turn left from the leftmost possible position you can be in. It’s just plain stupid and makes it impossible for a motorist to plan ahead and be in the correct lane.

howeph 5:46 pm 16 Oct 13

harvyk1 said :

howeph said :

Exactly!

In order to go straight ahead, I can:

a) Choose to dice with death by leaving the bike path, entering and then cross, the traffic flow. When I get to the lights I’m going to use that verge beside the bus (sure, it’s not an official bike lane) so as to increase the buffer space between me and vehicle traffic. This is what Queen_of_the_Bun would have me do every time.

or

b) Use the pedestrian crossing.

In light traffic I do (a); otherwise I do (b).

So what you are saying is you make the active choice to ignore road instructions because they do not suit you?

Which road instructions have I ignored? As a cyclist in the ACT I can: ride on the road (option a); or ride on the footpath (option b). I will do what ever I judge is safest and practicable – it’s called being a responsible adult.

harvyk1 said :

If a driver decided to ignore a road rule (eg crossing double lines) because it was inconvenient to wait for say a B double to first safely negotiate that piece of road, well we all know how that can end…

Not a valid comparison. I haven’t ignored any road instructions and the driver wouldn’t be doing what’s safe… which is what I’m doing.

Also note it is perfectly possible to drive recklessly and dangerously whilst simultaneously obeying all road instructions. It’s why evolution gave us the ability to judge what’s safe and what isn’t.

KB1971 4:45 pm 16 Oct 13

wildturkeycanoe said :

Also need one for the back in case the rider goes up ur rear end, and one facing the driver so you can prove you did two shoulder checks before you turned left in front of the cyclist pelting along doing 35 in the bike lane. Guilty until proven innocent is not the Australian way. This is just plain wrong. One set of rules for all vehicles, bicycles included. Not a dozen variations depending on what vehicle you drive.

So, you are driving up the middle lane on Northbourne & need to turn left onto Barry Drive. Would you just turn across the path of another vehicle and expect them not hit you when they dont have time to react?

How is this any different to a bicycle in a bike lane.

Also, what speed should a bike be doing in this bike lane?

KB1971 4:42 pm 16 Oct 13

Holden Caulfield said :

KB1971 said :

Sorry, I did jump the gun a bit but you did just point out that PP “wants” stuff…

No need to apologise.

However, I did also point out:

“That claim forms a small part of their submission”

and

“Despite a bit of “steel cocoon” rhetoric there’s some decent points being made.”

I have only skimmed over the full document, but saw enough to see that, aside from the obvious headline grabbers, there’s a lot of merit in much of the content.

I do admit, in the past, I was far less tolerant of cyclists in the main. But with age comes wisdom, or at least an attempt to try and gain some, haha.

The other bit from PP to strike a chord was the suggestion motorists may need to go back to school to learn the road rules in regards to the rights of cyclists. I agree that is probably a fair and reasonable position to hold. It’s just that, well, it’s kind of cute to hold that position when no qualification or demonstrated knowledge of the road rules is a prerequisite to riding a bike on the road.

Anyway, peace, love and happiness.

Thats why I apologised for jumping the gun 😉

On your last bit, yes that is an oddity but I guess that the law figures that most people over the age of 16 who ride bikes would have a licence and therefore would know the rules? I often wonder why people who do both dont do them the same.

Holden Caulfield 4:29 pm 16 Oct 13

KB1971 said :

Sorry, I did jump the gun a bit but you did just point out that PP “wants” stuff…

No need to apologise.

However, I did also point out:

“That claim forms a small part of their submission”

and

“Despite a bit of “steel cocoon” rhetoric there’s some decent points being made.”

I have only skimmed over the full document, but saw enough to see that, aside from the obvious headline grabbers, there’s a lot of merit in much of the content.

I do admit, in the past, I was far less tolerant of cyclists in the main. But with age comes wisdom, or at least an attempt to try and gain some, haha.

The other bit from PP to strike a chord was the suggestion motorists may need to go back to school to learn the road rules in regards to the rights of cyclists. I agree that is probably a fair and reasonable position to hold. It’s just that, well, it’s kind of cute to hold that position when no qualification or demonstrated knowledge of the road rules is a prerequisite to riding a bike on the road.

Anyway, peace, love and happiness.

Robertson 4:02 pm 16 Oct 13

Dilandach said :

Queen_of_the_Bun said :

For all those cyclists who say drivers should have to get out and push their cars across pedestrian crossings.

Are there really people that stupid enough to try on that dumbass argument?

I, for one, have never seen a car use a pedestrian crossing, but if a car was to do so I would expect its driver should be breathalysed and drug-tested forthwith.

wildturkeycanoe 3:52 pm 16 Oct 13

Maybe everyone who drives a car should become paranoidal nerve wrecks every time they drive on a road. I mean, you just never know when a bicycle may come hurtling across your path, come up behind you from the left hand side in your blind spot or just whiz past your driver’s side mirror whilst you wait at the lights. Better put a dash cam in now while they are cheap, the demand is certainly going to push the prices up. Also need one for the back in case the rider goes up ur rear end, and one facing the driver so you can prove you did two shoulder checks before you turned left in front of the cyclist pelting along doing 35 in the bike lane. Guilty until proven innocent is not the Australian way. This is just plain wrong. One set of rules for all vehicles, bicycles included. Not a dozen variations depending on what vehicle you drive.

KB1971 3:46 pm 16 Oct 13

Holden Caulfield said :

KB1971 said :

Please report the facts, not the bias.

Lighten up.

It was the liability issue, which I first saw on the PP website, that caught my attention and prompted me to start the discussion. Nobody has prevented you from reporting your own facts or from getting on your well worn soapbox and having your say in this thread.

I have said before that my preference would be to separate cyclists from motorists for the benefit and safety of all. Alas, the chances of that ever happening are as good as nil. Therefore, I’m more than willing to play my role as a member of society and when on foot or in my car I’ll always do my best to look out for and accommodate cyclists, as well as all other road users.

Sorry, I did jump the gun a bit but you did just point out that PP “wants” stuff, there are 16 other submissions there which may or may not have disagreeable suggestions in them. Even the CT didnt do that.

KB1971 3:41 pm 16 Oct 13

Queen_of_the_Bun said :

So are you saying that drivers need to be educated in how to drive around cyclists? I agree. I also think cyclists need to be educated in how to ride around cars, motorbikes and trucks. However, that’s never going to happen is it?

Nope, all I am saying is that it is a submission. There are other parts to the story other than just the paragraph quoted. I bet I could pick something from the MRA’s submission and twist it into something its not.

Just trying to get the thread a bit more balanced with the overall facts thats all. Pedal Power do recognise that there are issues on all sides, sometimes it takes an outlandish suggestion to get a ball rolling.

My personal opinion?

I cringe ever time I see a single speeding, no helmeted ninja from the ANU fly across Northbourne Ave not obeying any rule at all. I also have a go at riders who run red lights and I have also seen riders riding down the wrong way on main roads. But I have also seen so many car drivers that have the same flagrant disregard for the law.

The big issue here, as Holden pointed out was people need to take a chill pill and think of others. I have little issues on the road when I give plenty of notice of my intentions. Even then, yesterday I wanted to turn right to go to my kids school to pick them up, I looked over my shoulder and saw an old Daihastu 4WD coming up the road about 100m behind me so I swung my arm out to give him plenty of notice that I wanted to turn right. Despite this he still flew up behind me like he wasnt going to let me turn and locked up the brakes as if to say “You didnt give me enough notice dickhead!!” This is in a 50 zone where I should be right.

This is the behavior I have an issue with, the I need to get in front of you becuse you are on a bike and you dont matter.

On the accident fault, I know someone that was knocked off his bike by someone turning on him when he had right of way. Most of the accidents that happen between motor vehicles and bikes are not because of the pedestrian crossing thing, its at intersections where vehicles/bikes are turning across traffic. I have nearly been cleaned up a number of times like this. To me strict liability would make sense in these situations where its obvious that the car was a fault. IF, and that is a big if, the Gov decide its a good idea, I would imagine the legislation would not be that simple as suggested in the OP.

History shows that the walking across pedestrian crossings rule is redundant, its not killing people. No one is obeying the rule so there seems to be no reason for it. As someone said in the CT article, it is silly that we can ride on foot paths but not on corssings. In my commute I rarely see near misses.

Anyway, no doubt this afternoon I will have to be careful I dont get hit by a car cutting the corners on Vernon Circle, no one pulls out on me at the off ramp for Parkes Way to Comm Ave, the old bloke who walks with the stick doesnt hit me on Comm Bridge (as he has done in the past), I avoid the idiot cyclists who dont know how to pass & push you over to one side of the path, the joggers and walkers that dont watch what they are doing, the people walking dogs off lead and the maniacs doing power slides on roundabouts when I am waiting to cross scaring shit out of me.

Aside form all of that, is riding the best way to get to work? You bet.

Holden Caulfield 3:32 pm 16 Oct 13

KB1971 said :

Please report the facts, not the bias.

Lighten up.

It was the liability issue, which I first saw on the PP website, that caught my attention and prompted me to start the discussion. Nobody has prevented you from reporting your own facts or from getting on your well worn soapbox and having your say in this thread.

I have said before that my preference would be to separate cyclists from motorists for the benefit and safety of all. Alas, the chances of that ever happening are as good as nil. Therefore, I’m more than willing to play my role as a member of society and when on foot or in my car I’ll always do my best to look out for and accommodate cyclists, as well as all other road users.

harvyk1 3:15 pm 16 Oct 13

Earl said :

Hmm I’m not sure I really agree with fault lying with the driver unless proven innocent, but I can’t see how any rational person would believe having cyclists assumed to be at fault would be a good idea. You do realise this means anyone could just mow down any cyclist and kill them without fault (how do you prove innocence when you are dead?)

Or is “I’m not trolling” akin to “I’m not racist, but” …..

It was simply offering an alternate view on the “sun shines out of cyclists arse’s” point of view which pedal power pushes.

I do believe that the cyclist has a larger duty of care than the motorists given that they have chosen to ride in a dangerous environment against things much larger and much faster than them.

When I used to ride, I would always treat the roads with the greatest of respect, simply because at the end of the day I am nothing more than a speed bump when compared to a 4×4…

harvyk1 3:11 pm 16 Oct 13

howeph said :

Exactly!

In order to go straight ahead, I can:

a) Choose to dice with death by leaving the bike path, entering and then cross, the traffic flow. When I get to the lights I’m going to use that verge beside the bus (sure, it’s not an official bike lane) so as to increase the buffer space between me and vehicle traffic. This is what Queen_of_the_Bun would have me do every time.

or

b) Use the pedestrian crossing.

In light traffic I do (a); otherwise I do (b).

So what you are saying is you make the active choice to ignore road instructions because they do not suit you?

If a driver decided to ignore a road rule (eg crossing double lines) because it was inconvenient to wait for say a B double to first safely negotiate that piece of road, well we all know how that can end…

Earl 3:04 pm 16 Oct 13

harvyk1 said :

Here is a thought, and no I’m not trolling, I’m been serious. Why not make all accidents the cyclists fault unless it can be proved otherwise?

You’re actively choosing to take a vehicle into an environment, which has a top speed far below just about every other vehicle in that environment. That vehicle is missing the majority of protections which most other vehicles in that environment enjoy, and in the event of an accident, you will be coming off second best.

So as a cyclist, you have made the choice to enter a dangerous environment ill-equipped to properly deal with that environment. So as a result, should anything go wrong whilst in that environment, it should be the person who chose to make the environment more dangerous than it needs be by creating an obstacle traveling at half the speed to all other road users.

I’m not stating that cyclists shouldn’t be on the roads (well I am when there is a for purpose cycle path right next to the road), but the responsibility of ensuring safe usage of the road should fall on the person who chose to use a vehicle which is incapable of traveling the speed limit in most cases.

Just food for thought…

Hmm I’m not sure I really agree with fault lying with the driver unless proven innocent, but I can’t see how any rational person would believe having cyclists assumed to be at fault would be a good idea. You do realise this means anyone could just mow down any cyclist and kill them without fault (how do you prove innocence when you are dead?)

Or is “I’m not trolling” akin to “I’m not racist, but” …..

Queen_of_the_Bun 3:02 pm 16 Oct 13

howeph said :

davo101 said :

howeph said :

to the go straight ahead cycle lane, next to the bus

Err, that’s not a bike lane. There are a few hints as to why:

1. There is no bike symbol painted on the ground
2. The line markings indicate you can’t ride over that part of the road
3. There is an arrow directing cyclist up the ramp to the left
4. They’ve built a ramp for the bicycles
5. There is a sign stating that the bike lane ends.

Exactly!

In order to go straight ahead, I can:

a) Choose to dice with death by leaving the bike path, entering and then cross, the traffic flow. When I get to the lights I’m going to use that verge beside the bus (sure, it’s not an official bike lane) so as to increase the buffer space between me and vehicle traffic. This is what Queen_of_the_Bun would have me do every time.

or

b) Use the pedestrian crossing.

In light traffic I do (a); otherwise I do (b).

No problems with you using the pedestrian crossing. On foot. Eg like a pedestrian would.
At that intersection, it would often be faster for me as a driver to mount the footpath. But that’s not legal. So I don’t do it.

howeph 2:36 pm 16 Oct 13

davo101 said :

howeph said :

to the go straight ahead cycle lane, next to the bus

Err, that’s not a bike lane. There are a few hints as to why:

1. There is no bike symbol painted on the ground
2. The line markings indicate you can’t ride over that part of the road
3. There is an arrow directing cyclist up the ramp to the left
4. They’ve built a ramp for the bicycles
5. There is a sign stating that the bike lane ends.

Exactly!

In order to go straight ahead, I can:

a) Choose to dice with death by leaving the bike path, entering and then cross, the traffic flow. When I get to the lights I’m going to use that verge beside the bus (sure, it’s not an official bike lane) so as to increase the buffer space between me and vehicle traffic. This is what Queen_of_the_Bun would have me do every time.

or

b) Use the pedestrian crossing.

In light traffic I do (a); otherwise I do (b).

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2019 Region Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site