9000 bike riders fined for breaking road rules

From the Courier Mail

9000 bike riders fined for breaking road rules
Hannah Martin, March 30, 2008

ABOUT 9000 cyclists were fined last year for breaking road rules, but Queensland Transport has dismissed calls to license riders. More than 680 cyclists were injured so severely in accidents last year they were taken to hospital emergency departments.

More than 100 people were taken to hospital after being hit by cyclists, Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit research shows.

Almost 59,000 Queensland cyclists have been fined for breaking road rules since 2003, but a Queensland Transport spokesman said a licensing system would be too costly and would not stop injuries or rule-breaking. "This would impose very significant additional costs on the community and government, and the benefits would be negligible," he said.

Calls for bicycle licences come as the Victorian Government vows to get tough on rogue cyclists who cause death or serious injury to others.

Proposed new laws mean cyclists could face penalties, including jail, similar to those given to drivers guilty of culpable driving.

Brisbane Mater Children's Hospital emergency pediatrician Dr Ruth Barker, from the injury surveillance unit, said she expected bike-related injuries to increase as more people commuted on bikes. Head, upper limb and collarbone injuries were most common.

Dr Barker said shared pathways or roads were often a problem and speed contributed to many bike accidents.

"Children particularly are very prone to meandering along paths, not sticking to one side, making it hard for cyclists to avoid them."

Near-collisions around Brisbane are common, according to cyclists and pedestrians on city and suburban shared bike/pathways, including the riverfront along Coronation Drive, Milton. Billy Witana, 46, rides to work in Northgate from his home in Algester each day.

"Sometimes (pedestrians) get in a bit of a daze and stray out in front of you," Mr Witana said.

But riding on the shared paths was probably safer than the roads, he said. The only way to make shared paths safer for everyone was to get rid of the bikes.

"They should make a designated bike path on the roads.

"Even though I bike, I wouldn't like to be running along here with all of the bikes that come racing past."

Business analyst Nicole Remedios, 34 walks to work along the footpath between Toowong and Milton and said some bike riders could get "aggro" when pedestrians spread across the path.

"Sometimes if people are walking in a row of three, bike riders will scream at you to stand to the left," she said.

Richard Cordes, 48, a recreational bike rider who lives in Annerley, said it was up to cyclists to take more care on shared paths.

"Pedestrians are being approached from behind so it's not their fault," he said.

"We (bike riders) need to be a little bit more considerate and ring our bells when we're approaching people.

"Speed is an issue as well; not enough bikes slow down enough when they pass pedestrians."

Dr Barker said cyclists also needed to be more respectful of road rules, including properly stopping at traffic lights– even if it meant the inconvenience of taking special clip-in bike shoes off the peddles.

She said the number of people who still didn't wear helmets was alarming.

"From working in the emergency department the people you see not wearing them are the young adolescents," she said.

"Once they hit about 13 or 14 they seem to think they're invincible and it's not cool (to wear their helmet)."

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Business analyst Nicole Remedios, 34 walks to work along the footpath between Toowong and Milton and said some bike riders could get "aggro" when pedestrians spread across the path. "Sometimes if people are walking in a row of three, bike riders will scream at you to stand to the left," she said.

Ahhhh the good old peds "ignoring" path/lane markings. Fair enough if there are no markings ALL users should take care. However, I do get a little annoyed with people who walk against the traffic etc...But as in most cases a cool head is needed whilst having a moving discussion about the dangers of cyclists coming up behind (some don't have bells even though they should). I use an Airzound horn that works a treat (especially for ipod wearers).

Seems to me that as the population grows more and more members of society are feeling that they need to mark their territory. Be it by taking up a whole path, not sharing your seat on public transport, running to the newly opened checkout at the expense of the elderly or whatever. Where's the love?
What annoys me most about the peds taking up the whole path are those that look straight at you approaching them, and make no effort to give you room. This happens to me most afternoons on a path that is clearly marked as a shared path with a dividing center line. Many times I've had to move off the path to give them the room they do not deserve.
Quick question about red lights without pedestrian crossings: What do other cyclists do when the lights do not change for you?
I carefully go through them, but that would be deemed breaking a road rule. How long should I wait on the road sensor before giving up on the lights changing?
The lights should change for you, especially if you are careful to ride along the middle (or one of the two side) induction loop lines.

If that doesn't work, then call the RTA traffic line on 131 700 and report the intersection location or number (on the signal control box yellow sticker). You will need to tell them which leg and lane of the intersection you were on. Tell them the traffic lights are faulty, as they didn't detect your vehicle. Please could they fix the detector to be sensitive enough for bicycles. They will tell you it will be fixed within two working days.

Needless to say - all the traffic lights on my commute or other regular routes now work.
I lived in Brisbane for 3 months this time last year. I took my bike with me. I have ridden in all parts of the world so I am not an incompentant rider but I found Brisbane one of the most dangerous places to ride. I find it hilarous that the Qld police force spent time fining bike riders they really should spend a bit more time fining the car drivers. In the time I was there I saw less than 10 coppers (most of whom were in Queen street mall directing tourists) and I worked near their headquaters! I lost count of the number of unsolved hit and runs (most involving kids and cyclists) happened while I was there. Qld has this rule that you can ride on the footpath. That's fine but what it means is that most people don't ride on the road which makes it hard for us who want to as car drivers aren't keen on sharing the road. There are quite a large number of bike paths but like this article illustrates they are also used for pedestrians. Even my 65year old mum who doesn't ride fast at all collided with a pedestrian who decided to walk into her path. I jogged around the waterfront in Brisbane and I never had a problem with the cyclist (even the hard core road bikers) because I stuck to the left and I looked before turning stepping out. You can't win as a cyclist, you aren't welcomed on the roads or even the bike path!
Snarfed from aus.bicycle
QLD Bike wiki
8,500 of them are for failing to wear a helmet.
Next biggest offence, 252, is for lack of lights at night.
I count a total of 18 (yes, 18) offences that could be said to be related to footpaths, shared paths or pedestrians.
I've never seen such a bunch of dangerous pedestrian-hunting maniacs in my life!
Duncan, I'm confused....who are you suggesting are the ped-hunting maniacs? In light of the stats you quote, this article was obviously intended to deceive readers and create some agro between peds and cyclists. Your thoughts?
I think there was a hint of sarcasm in Duncan's comment. BTW, who here can put there hand up for committing one or more of these infringements. Here is one they didn't have: "Riding in a bus only lane". This one happens to me every afternoon on Old Windsor Road. See this link http://tinyurl.com/6zxdqy (google maps), as you can see the bike lane becomes a bus only lane and after the intersection, the bike lane starts again. It is a fun game of chicken with the cars that want to enter the petrol station.

Edit: I should mention, that the same occurs on the south bound lane.
But the north bound lane is marked "Bus Only" and can only (legally) be used by buses) so I guess I shouldn't have edited my previous comment to mention the south bound lane.
I don't think the police are too concerned with it as they have watched me many times ride through it while they had their speed camera/booking station set up at the start of the left turn lane. If I ever get a ticket, it will fight it. Also, with the introduction of the T-way, I don't think I have seen a bus use the bus lanes at all recently.
That's a strange one!.

It appears you are legal in the south bound lane ("Bus Lane", which means cyclists are permitted).. but not in the Northbound ("Bus Only", which means cyclists are NOT permitted), even though the cycle lane leads straight into it.

I think the painters got a bit confused.
That guy really likes the shoulder, but not as bad as the trucks in the mornings on the M7, they really like to cut the corners. The other morning I had just moved over to the left of the shoulder to avoid some glass when a truck roared past me almost half way into the shoulder. Scared the crap out of me. Oh well, an inch is as good as a mile in this case.

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