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September 24, 2008

Driver / Cyclist education

Filed under: Cycling — Tags: — joel.cass @ 9:57 am

This is a comment I made against an ignorant journalist’s article regarding the conflict between drivers/cyclists on our roads.

I ride almost 20km to and from work every day (meadowbank-sydney). I see a lot. I have almost been run over on two occasions in the last two weeks – both in the same area, near birkenhead point. A lot of “rat runners” drive through here to avoid the congestion on Victoria road. I always used the alotted cycleway to the left of the road.

On both occasions, drivers have unpredictably driven into the cycleway (where I ride) to avoid speed bumps. The first time I had to slam on the brakes so hard that the rear wheel lifted (and I was going uphill at that). The second time I was going downhill and saw it coming so avoided it by slowing down so I was behind the car when they did so.

Even so, motorists should be aware that it is *by law* that they should never use emergency lanes, cycle lanes, bus lanes, footpaths etc to avoid speedbumps. They should also be aware that *by law* they need to give way to other vehicles on the road (including cyclists).

On the same note, cyclists should be aware that they need to give way to motor vehicles as if they were driving a motor vehicle. Cyclists should also be aware that they need to give way to pedestrians.

In my mind, there should also be permanent cycleways on main roads – I am talking about Victoria Road in particular. I often use the footpath when following this road as I have had too many close calls from ignorant drivers who speed past. In my mind there should be bus lanes following the entire stretch of this road from Parramatta to the city as it would make the ride for cyclists all the more safer.

In reply to some of the comments made by others, cyclists are regarded as road-worthy vehicles by the RTA. They are only regarded as pedestrians when they dismount the bike. Team cyclists are annoying, agreed, but just be patient. Any abuse or misconduct towards them would effectively be breaking the law so get used to it.

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