Road safety for all. Especially vulnerable road users.

February 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

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As a car driver, motor cyclist, commuter cyclist and road cyclist I see this issue from a variety of angles.

And that’s what we all need to do.

We all need to obey the law, whilst remaining vigilant and careful around vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians.

Impatience around vulnerable road users can, and does kill them.

Governments MUST provide safe infrastructure and also help to promote greater community awareness of the benefits of cycling and walking in our cities.

The demonizing of all cyclists because of the illegal behaviour of a few is misguided and inappropriate. That said, I agree that a formal road education/licensing program for all cyclists could well be beneficial, as long as a similar cyclist awareness program was conducted for motorists on how to behave when approaching them. Then, everyone is on the same page. 

Holland has legislation which protects the rights of vulnerable road users. Victoria has now made it an offense for motorists to “menace” pedestrians crossing the street into walking faster.

I don’t agree with bike registration. It may seem on the face of it to be logical and sensible but if a family owns multiple bikes as many do, it would create a financial impost which may discourage many obese and/or disadvantaged Australians from taking up a healthy, worthwhile activity or simply having access to cheap, effective transport.

In planning our cities, do we want to follow bad American models, or good European ones? “Cities of the 21st century should be lively, safe, sustainable and healthy cities. Jan Gehl tells us how all of these qualities can be achieved through the policy of making walking and cycling the preferred mode of movement in the city.

Dear friends, let us not forget the tragic and avoidable death of the brilliant young violinist Richard Pollett.
I enclose a poignant quote linked to a cycling safety article and video … “Recently, in the Financial Review, businessman and cyclist Andy Sheats said his one wish was “for drivers to pass cyclists with the same care and safety that they would take in passing their own son, daughter or loved one”.

Yours in compassion and loving kindness,

Alex.

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