Thread: One metre matters...
13th Jan 2014, 08:46 PM #1
One metre matters...
As a cyclist I feel quite strongly about this but if you have any member of your family who rides a bike then it's something you should also be passionate about.
If you'd like to make our roads safer for all cyclists, please print out the petition in the link below, sign it and send it to the following address:
Andrew Nikolic MP, Federal Member for Bass
100 St John Street
Launceston Tas 7250
You can send it in with just one signature or get the support of friends & family... one metre matters
Here's a formatted letter which can be emailed to your local MP calling for their support
Here's a bit more light readingIt's only a mistake if you don't learn from it.
13th Jan 2014, 09:08 PM #2
Its a great idea Corbs .... motorists need to realise that somebody on a bicycle is somebodies son, daughter, brother, sister, husband or wife. A delay of 30 seconds in a car is nothing so it is important to play safe around bikes.
You may find this journey interesting:
Basically it is a guy and his wife moving to NZ from UK. He is riding and she is flying. It is a blog following his journey and quite an enjoyable read if you have some time.
What raised my interest in relation to your post is something I read about 1/2 an hour ago with Rob writing about his experience in cycling to Kangaroo Island here is South Australia:
The roads themselves have not been the best I have ridden, nor the worst. However, I canít admit to feeling totally safe on them, as cars scream past me at high speed. In fact, itís the first country in which I have felt the need to wear a reflective vest.Now proudly sponsored by Binford Tools. Be sure to check out the Binford 6100 - available now at any good tool retailer.
13th Jan 2014, 09:33 PM #3
Thanks SS, will check out the blog.
On my local road rides I usually expect a few close calls and have been hit a few times as well. I was glanced by a caravan a couple of weeks ago. Not enough to knock me off but enough to think "bldy hell, I just got hit by a caravan", that was in a 100km/h zone but uphill so the van was doing 70-80km/h.
That said, the quote below was my facebook status after a ride last week
Just had an amazing ride on the bike. A bit over 2 hours, covered 60km and had the most courteous drivers all the way. Had one lady in qbn stop and appologise because she was afraid she got too close to me (there was plenty of room). I rode a 15km stretch which was quite narrow and no shoulder to safely ride on, had at least 8 cars slow down to my speed and wait for a safe place to pass. I've done rides which were more fun but I've never felt so safe on a bike. Thank you to all the drivers I shared the road with todayIt's only a mistake if you don't learn from it.
13th Jan 2014, 09:54 PM #4
I'm all for the petition Corbs. I hate cycling on busy roads. Most roads around here are 80 or 100kph limits, luckily with just enough room to be able to ride just in from the white line.
However, I'm dubious as to how Police will enforce the rule, and how many people they will actually fine. After all, keeping left on the freeways unless overtaking is clearly signposted, but it never happens...
Someone swerved at me a few weeks ago because I held him up for what I estimated to be 4 seconds while I went through a small roundabout. The knob then pulled into his driveway 70m up the road. Details passed on to the Police. That's typical of some drivers' attitudes. I'm clueless as to how to change that.
13th Jan 2014, 10:13 PM #5
The tragic death of 25 year old, Richard Pollett, highlights the inadequacies of this regulation. Richard was riding his bicycle when he was killed after being struck by a cement truck as the driver attempted to overtake him. The truck driverís lawyer said the driver was under "the honest and reasonable belief" that there was enough room on the road to safely overtake him. The truck driver was acquitted.It's only a mistake if you don't learn from it.
14th Jan 2014, 01:10 AM #6Retired
- Join Date
- May 2012
Cameras. High res cameras on the back and the front of the bikes.
Send the footage to a friendly lawyer who then vigorously sues everyone who hits you into financial oblivion. Legal violence will get their attention.
Repeat 1000 times and not one car will come within 50 metres of a bike.
14th Jan 2014, 04:53 PM #7
I have a HD one which will be mounted under my seat pointing aft and I will look at another small/cheap to mount on the bars facing forwardIt's only a mistake if you don't learn from it.
14th Jan 2014, 06:16 PM #8
Nothing much changes. 20 years ago I was in the Army, posted to Canberra, riding a bike to work most days.
I think they applied the 1cm rule back then and i had my handlebars clipped by ACT busses more times than I would like to recall.
Enforcement of road rules has nothing to do with making the roads safer. If it did then there would be less emphasis on speeding and drink/drug driving. These are the offences they concentrate on because they can produce evidence of the speed you were doing or the level of alcohol/drugs in your system. As such these are subject to on-the-spot fines that are very rarely contested in court.
Its much harder to collect the evidence to prosecute someone for not keeping one metre from a cyclist, tailgating, driving fatigued and all the other offences which really cause the road toll.
It is all about State Revenue Collection, not road safety. The government tells the police: "Go out and prosecute the offences which can be proven the most easily. Dont waste police time on offences that people will contest and defeat."
Speed cameras are about raising revenue, not about saving lives. I bet every one of you either has been fined as a result of a speed camera or at least knows someone who has. But if speed cameras save lives, then surely at least one of you can tell me the name of someone whose life was saved by a speed camera and how.
Anyone like to take up that challenge?
14th Jan 2014, 06:24 PM #9
I am both a cyclist and a car driver.
I have absolutely no problem with a law that states that cars have to keep a safe distance from a cyclist, but I would also like to see some laws tell cyclists what they can and can't do on our roads. (we could even make it compulsory for cyclists to obey traffic light - now there is a novel idea!)
To back up those laws and make sure that both police and ordinary citizens can report misbehaving cyclists (yes there are some believe it or not!) I would like to see number plates introduced for bicycles, as well as a registration fee to pay for building and maintaing bike paths. This registration fee would include the TAC charge that motorists pay.
14th Jan 2014, 06:47 PM #10
There are even special rules only for cyclists. In Queensland it is legal for a bike to overtake on the left hand side for example. This is the stupidest and most unsafe road rule I know of. I was once driving in Bundaberg and indicated to pull over to the left when I was well clear of the cyclist behind me. As I slowed down he started to overtke me on the left and ran out of road as I pulled over. He had plenty of room to move out and pass on the right. He stopped as I stopped and started physically beating into the side of my car with his hands and feet calling out "you tried to kill me you c...". A passing policeman showed him the error of his ways. He had been behind the cyclist and witnessed the whole thing. He finished up paying for a new door panel for me. He was not prosecuted for a traffic offence, but for wilful damage to property or something similar. Police said I had done nothing wrong but that technically the way the law is written he could overtake on the left so they knew they would not be able to prosecute him for a traffic offence because of that stupid law.
14th Jan 2014, 07:48 PM #11
The proportions of cyclists who don't obey traffic lights is much lower than you might think. Here is the report from a study which was conducted at ten sites across Melbourne from Oct 08 until Apr 09. Of the 4225 cyclists who faced a red light, 292 (6.9% were non compliant).
On the matter of bike registration, roads are paid for out of general revenue. The TAC charge you refer to is the "Traffic Accident Charge" and is used to pay for treatment and support services for people injured in transport accidents. None of your registration fees pays for better roads. Further, registration fees are calculated on vehicle weight. I'm more than happy to pay my bike registration calculated on the 8kg's my bike weighs. I will proudly place a number plate on my bike and I will ride down the middle of the road which I'm now apparently paying for. In reality, bike registration isn't really a viable option when all the issues are investigated. The countries which do have bike registration schemes are more about identifying stolen bikes rather than identifying bike riders who have done wrong.
How many cars doing the wrong thing have you identified by number plate to the police and then had any follow up action?
I acknowledge that there are some terrible cyclists on the road and I'm the first to have a go at them on my bike, but I've also found that these people don't usually see themselves as cyclists. There needs to be more awareness & education for both cyclists & drivers but the solution is simple... be tolerant of each other.It's only a mistake if you don't learn from it.
14th Jan 2014, 08:01 PM #12
Corbs, not to belabour a point but:
1 That report refers to 5 years ago, there has been a dramatic increase in cyclists on our roads since then and I would say those figures would be higher today. But even 6.9% of cyclists running red lights is on the high side, you seem to think it is acceptable?
2 Roads are paid for out of general revenue, yes, where do registration fees go ? General revenue. Semantics surely?
3 TAC, yes it pays for people injured in traffic accidents, paid for by motorists - not cyclists. Cyclists don't get injured in traffic accidents?
4 Number plates - it would certainly be handy to identify an offending cyclist from a video taken with my dash mounted GoPro and hand it to police. At the moment all that will show is Lycra.
Anyway, if you want to see cyclists misbehaving in a large group, go to Beach Rd any Sunday morning.
As I said, I am not anti-cyclist, I am one myself, just like to see cyclists being held accountable and contribute to "General Revenue".
14th Jan 2014, 08:12 PM #13SENIOR MEMBER
- Join Date
- Dec 2007
- Gold Coast
Far too few drivers realise the speeds that many bike riders can achieve. I've never been on a gentle side-by-side ride on a public road.
14th Jan 2014, 08:32 PM #14
As the Police officer who witnessed the event said to the cyclist at the scene: "He was well in front and had indicated clearly that he was pulling over and he was less than a metre from the kerb when you cut in inside him. What the hell were you thinking?".
Corbs, I have no reason to believe that you are anything other than and exemplary and safe cyclist. I am not against cyclists. I have been one and I know how it feels when your handlebars get clipped by a bus and the only place to go to avoid it is to hit the kerb.
Not all cyclists ride safely. I see examples every day, just as i see stupid examples of driving cars every day. If we want our roads to be safer for EVERYONE, we need the police to enforce the rules that they should be enforcing.
A police operation targetting speed or drink driving will result in thousands of dollars in revenue every day with virtually no downtime for administration and court appearances. A similar sized operation against other offences will not render the same volume of revenue and for every day on the road they would have several days off the road investigating and compiling evidence and attending court. They have their revenue targets to make so they go for the easy targets, not the ones who are causing the accidents.
Just before Christmas I was booked by a speed camera for doing 52km/hr in a 50 zone. $180 thanks very much. After this I put my GPS in the car and found out that when the GPS reads my speed as 52, my speedo reads just under 47. I researched and have found that apparently the speedo is within the legal limits allowed. However the governments legisaltion for speeding fines requires a far lower tolerance for error than the legal requirements for accuracy of a speedo fitted to a vehicle under Australian standards. If that does not prove that its all about fundraising not safety then I dont know what does.
14th Jan 2014, 09:06 PM #15
At the end of the day, this thread is about making cyclists safer on the road and it's posted in a cycling area of the forums. The people I want to see held accountable are the people like driver of the cement truck who hit and killed Richard Pollett and was acquitted on the defence that he thought there was enough room. If you're driving a car and hit another car the defence of "I thought there was enough room" would be laughed at so why is it acceptable for the driver of 35 tonne truck hitting an 80kg rider??It's only a mistake if you don't learn from it.
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