ABC respond to "I need a bull bar to clear cyclists out of the way.

A Perth ABC radio announcer thought it was OK to say he wished he had a bull bar on his car to clear all the cyclist out of the way. I was one of many who complained that day (the story was forwarded to me by a friend in Perth) and the ABC response is below. Shame more station don't take responsive attitude the ABC does. My original complaint is at the end. It happened on the same day a delivery driver in Randwick went out of his way to tell me to get a car or get of the road you faggot. Please I live in Surry Hills do you think calling me a faggot is an insult? But still I was wound up that day and had to respond. Clearly we should do it more often. 

Dear Mr Smirk

Thank you for your email concerning a comment made by Eoin Cameron on 720 Breakfast about cyclists on 29 August.

Your email was referred to Audience and Consumer Affairs for consideration and response. The unit is separate and independent from ABC program areas and is responsible for investigating complaints alleging a broadcast or publication was in contravention of the ABC's editorial standards. In light of your concerns, we have reviewed the broadcast and assessed it against the ABC's editorial requirements for harm and offence, as outlined in section 7.1 of the ABC's Code of Practice:  . In the interests of procedural fairness, we have also sought and considered material from ABC Radio.

During an interview with David Hynes, media spokesperson for the Public Transport Authority, about ongoing engineering issues with the Fremantle train line, the drop in numbers of people using public transport and increase in people using bicycles, Eoin Cameron said he wanted a bull bar to clear cyclists out of his way.

While intended as a joke, in the context of the large and growing number of injuries caused to cyclists, the remark was inappropriate. Mr Cameron immediately realised this, saying straight away that the comment was 'naughty' and he wished he could 'bite his tongue'. He read critical comments from listeners on air during the same program.

Mr Cameron is genuinely sorry for making the remark and apologises for any harm or offence he has caused.

On Monday 1 September he began his program with an unreserved apology, and followed it up with a scripted apology which read, "On Friday I made a comment about wanting a bull bar to clear cyclists out of my way.  I just want to say I regret what I said and I'm sorry I said it.  I understand it's upset a lot of people - cyclists especially - and I apologise for that.  All road users have the right to travel without feeling threatened - none more so than cyclists."

Audience and Consumer Affairs conclude the broadcast was not in keeping with section 7.1 of the ABC Code of Practice.

Thank you for taking the time to write; your feedback is appreciated.

For your reference, the ABC Code of Practice is available online at

Should you be dissatisfied with this response to your complaint, you may be able to pursue your complaint with the Australian Communications and Media Authority,  .

Yours sincerely

Mark Maley
Audience & Consumer Affairs

To: Audience & Consumer Affairs
From: Justin Smirk (
Subject: ABC 720 Breakfast show on Friday Eoin Cameron
Date: 01/09/14 13:00

Below is the result of your feedback form.  It was submitted by Justin Smirk (
ABC program: ABC 720 Breakfast show on Friday Eoin Cameron

Response required: true

Date of program: Friday September 1

Contact type: Complaint

Location: NSW

Subject: ABC 720 Breakfast show on Friday Eoin Cameron

Comments: So Eoin Cameron is "wanting a bull bar on his car to "clean-up" cyclists". Really, is this appropriate when currently there are many drivers who feel it is OK to put their two tonne killing machine in a position that threatens a cyclist? Why is it OK to promote the idea it is OK to intimidate the vulnerable. Does the idea of having someone who is more vulnerable make Eion fear his one vulnerability? Is he really that weak a person? And does he want to encourage those who also fear their own vulnerability to take it out on those more vulnerable? When did the ABC start condone bulling?
Network - Local Radio
RecipientName - Audience & Consumer Affairs Referer - Complaint

Views: 1275

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All of the above comments are valid, but there are times when a bit of "back off and don't get upset about a bit of law breaking" is worthwhile.  It probably didn't cause too much trouble to the cyclist and didn't delay him as much as "bike riders delay cars".  Maybe a friendly wave to the driver would help someone in the longer term.

I'm reminded of a discussion that I had in Ireland earlier this year with one of the locals.  I commented about how everyone seemed to be more courteous than in Oz.  His response was that if you had a narrow road, and a bus was blocking it, there's no point in getting uptight about it.  It will clear as soon as he can get through.  As a result of that thought, I've modified my riding style a little since then, because it's better to have shown a bit of "consideration to other road users" than to be dead but right!

maybe but professional drivers have good and bad days like anyone else. You do know that these drivers do change depots without too much notice? Think that was the case with the Military Rd Neutral Bay bike/ bus accident.

Where I live I need to cut it with bendy buses most days. I always give them plenty of room and never second guess that they will stop, give way or yield road space. (I also have been known to slipstream behind them when I feel slow and tired at the end of a weeks commuting)

Just sit at any pedestrian crossing in the city and watch the buses run the red or stop in the middle. This is just a normal state of affair& so not surprising that peds have been killed in the city. Peak hour intersections on main bus routes always make me nervous these days.  

More red light runners. If you listen, you can hear the walk light go "Ping!" and the holden wagon pass about two seconds later. Lucky I had my eyes open this morning.

Same thing every single morning. Cars queue across intersection and then try to kill you when you cross at the lights. I actually spoke to a traffic cop at this intersection one morning and asked him fi there was something he could do about the cars clearly breaking the law. We watched (from about 20m back) as cars did exactly this. He explained that it would be difficult to book anyone as A) there are so many it would cause more traffic if they pulled everyone over and B) it would be dangerous for police officers to walk across three lanes of traffic to speak to a driver.

Maybe, one day, it will be too difficult to pull over cyclists for chosing not to wear a helmet.

happens in so many places Bernie that I don't go on green unless I've looked first.

No need for them to go into the traffic - just stand on footpath/island and take pix then send fines out.  Wouldn't take very long to fix.  If they wanted to be nice about it, they could put signs up preceding the intersection advising that fines will be imposed for those who block the intersection.

Yes, I think we should complain about this failure-to-police.

Ive been to parramatta police station with video evidence of dangerous driving and got exactly nowhere. Dont really feel like being ignored again (had much better luck at Castle Hill). Maybe I can hire/borrow a police uniform and stand on the corner with a camera every now and then. At least it would make them think.

Ask to speak to the Officer in Charge.  If you get no joy then, work your way up the chain of command through LAC and beyond.  Involve your local pollie too!

Maybe I can hire/borrow a police uniform and stand on the corner with a camera every now and then. At least it would make them think

- much, much higher chance of YOU getting arrested for impersonation!

... oh , an idea,  stand in the middle of traffic, no cops will catch you, too dangerous.

some bus drivers think they have right of way , all the time , big vechile= big ego 


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