Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Perennial Issue

Cycling Accidents Rising In Australia article by Nick Evershed - Cars v Cyclist

The perennial issue for cyclist is the danger cyclist are exposed to whilst on the road by other road users  . More importantly , driving in a manner that endangers cyclist.

This is more so in Perth with the number of deaths on the roads last year rising . I am super vigilant when on the road and I ride defensively .But there is little I can do if a driver just comes too close or hits me from the back.   The number of cycling deaths has increased (Death Spike ) (Cycling deaths double )

I don't wish to play the blame game , I only want to be safe. I see aggressive drivers mainly young male drivers racing to work. Just the other day riding in the suburban streets , I could hear a car fast approaching and took a position a meter and half from the kerb just to ensure he had to take a conscious effort to pass me rather than come within inches of me if I was hugging the kerb. But riding on the main arterial roads leading into Perth can be dangerous in the morning and evening traffic. I avoid it for that reason .The phenomenon is occurring everywhere. On wednesday night riding home in the evening I was pleasantly surprised when a motorist suggested I adjust my lights on my back pack as I may not be as visible .I thanked him and did just that . For all the bad drivers on the roads , they are still a minority but the chance of a collision with a cyclist is always critical and deadly for the cyclist .Hence the need for education , mutual courtesy and continuous vigilance. (Outside Magazine Bicycle deaths explained)

Every other day on facebook there is news of another cyclist being hit by a vehicle. In todays paper there was an article of a man who was charged with causing death by dangerous driving when he hit a young girl riding to school .He was acquitted and that prompted the WA Government to amend the law  ." The case led to major changes in WA's criminal law where drink drivers who cause death are automatically charged with dangerous driving in what became known as Jessie's law."

In Hong Kong , a cyclist was killed yesterday evening .Tragically he was someones son , a husband , a father , a talented cyclist ( British cyclist dies after colliding with Van )

The sad reality at least in Perth , until there is serious enforcement and education , our roads are getting deadlier as more people take to cycling.  I hope legislation requiring motorist to keep a distance of at least a meter from cyclist as in Queensland eventually become law. It is a small chance but I believe given the increasing fatalities and serious injuries it is inevitable ( new law to leave a metre for cyclist ) Like Jesse's law , it will take the death of a cyclist possibly a few before the State Government realizes that in our crowded stressed cities , some regulation is needed to separate cyclist and motorist .

Six cyclists died on WA roads last year and more than 1300 cyclists required hospital treatment for injuries suffered in accidents.

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