Cycling in Sydney Australia
That's the headline for The Weekend Australian Magazine's story on cyclists today. Such an outrageous headline would ordinarily have me, and probably most cyclists, not feeling inclined to fork out money for the paper or the pay-walled website featuring it, and hitting the keyboard to complain to the Press Council.
However, the outrage some have already expressed (OK, one) before even reading the article would appear to be unjustified. The author, Greg Bearup, is apparently a cyclist himself and his thesis in the magazine is that the law is too soft on motorists who mow down riders on the roads. As if we didn't know!
It is a disturbing read but one which is very positive toward cycling. My one criticism is of the pictures used to illustrate "cycling". Two of the three cyclists shown are shaven-legged, lycra-clad, full-on racy types (the one on the cover is a triathlete apparently and inexplicably riding on the wrong side of the road, at night, without lights, and wearing sunglasses) while only the third and smallest pic shows a commuter, suggesting that bicycles can perhaps be used for non-competitive purposes. Interestingly, that picture is one the Terrorgraph once used to vilify cyclists for getting in the way of cars. There is perhaps an echo of that in the caption, for which we cannot blame author Bearup: "Cuts both ways: cyclists need to respect other road users, too".
So, have you read the article? What are your feelings about it?
Thanks for posting Neil
I found it on the link above. There was a story in the SMH Good Weekend about the Ivan Milat murders this Easter weekend. One fellow by the name of Onions was hitch hiking and was picked up by Milat. After an hour or so Milat pulled a revolver on the hitchhiker, whilst they were stopped. Onions bolted and was picked up by a woman who took him to the nearest police station. Matter duly reported and recorded. Was not apparently followed up at the time. Only years later the case investigators had to dig real deep to find it in the policeman's notebook.
In The Australian's story a courier truck cuts left across the cycle path and a cyclist crashes into the truck. Police attend but are not interested even with witnesses. Based on my flimsy readings there might be a cultural, systems, overwork issue with the police??
I think the only connection might be that Police did not take the many reports seriously about Milat's strange behaviour seriously - like they don't take cycling issues seriously now.
I know a guy who met Milat in borderline hostile circumstances and had to bail with wife in tow - duly reported to Police and ignored. The serial killing continued. Much like the carnage on the roads continues.
Picture and headline very poor. The headline could possibly be excused to encourage people (hopefully non cycling ones) to read the article. The picture is much harder to explain... simply strange.
The content was good, I read it at State Library when it happened to be on the cafe table I sat at. Infuriating to read, but I really hope we have turned a corner and can get Police and Media to change their ways.
And from the same weekend's The Australian newspaper is this story on the bottom of page 3:
Note the last two paragraphs about the "It's a Two-Way Street" campaign, previously discussed on this site (here. and elsewhere, too, though I haven't found the full discussion). Which sounds even more piss-weak given the statistic of 80% driver fault stated in the opening par. Media bias? No, societal bias, IMO.
And not "news" either, given that the O'paper was on to the driver-fault theme nearly four years ago.
It's an odd article. Ninety five percent talking about drivers and then a last minute kicking for cyclists.
Did the motorist who killed Marc Simone on the M4 ever get charged/found guilty of anything?
Maybe I missed it or maybe it is ongoing - but it was a while ago now - anyone know?
I spoke to Marg Prendergast from the NSW Centre of road safety a while ago and asked her about that case. She said the driver claimed there was a bee or wasp in the car. Dont remember if she said or not if charges were laid.
Thanks for the response Bob.
Bee or wasp - pure genius. Master stroke really - I guess the courts were getting sick of the sun in the eyes and sneezing cop outs.
I'll never know why people don't stop their car when these things 'happen' - instead they drive on, what could possible go wrong?
I'm really hoping that was not the end of the matter and a life is worth a little bit more than a dog ate my homework excuse.
Clearly Kaine Barnett needed a better lawyer, but then again the victims here were motorists.
Don't you just love (NOT) that on-line stories relating to the carnage caused by motor vehicles attract advertisements for powerful cars, in this case BMWs (Bayerische Motoren Wanke).
Garry Brennan's comments just laughable. Pass the FIGJAM peoples.