Apparently the roads minister was on 2UE this morning calling for a ban on cyclists on main roads.

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Election next year :D

The ACP couldn't pay for better advertising, thanks!

Master stroke that one, shall we ban Motorists as well seeing as they keep doing silly thigns to get themselves killed and injured on main roads? Talk about playing to the crowd/mob/rabble.

Well yes we should, because car drivers are constantly saying they want the same rules to apply...

And more, from the Age: http://www.theage.com.au/nsw/duncan-gay-considers-licence-for-cycli...

Duncan Gay considers licence for cyclists, bans from certain roads

NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay says he is "increasingly persuaded" that a  licensing system needs to be introduced for cyclists on the state's roads to  combat an alarming number of rider deaths.

In what is sure to spark debate among road users, Mr Gay also signalled that  he was considering banning bicycles from certain roads in Sydney to ensure  riders' safety.

The Sydney cycling community is reeling after a recent spate of  horrif..., including two deaths in as many weeks.

The latest death occurred on Thursday afternoon, when a male cyclist was  killed in a collision with a bus at the intersection of Military and Ben Boyd  roads in Neutral Bay.

Mr Gay told 2UE Breakfast that, while both motorists and cyclists needed to  take more care on the roads, he was actively looking at introducing a licensing  system for cyclists.

"The thing I really need to look at is, if we're going to put rules in place,  and I need to be tougher on car drivers, but I am increasingly persuaded that we  need to look at a licence for cyclists ...," Mr Gay said.

"It's not going to worry the ones that are doing the right thing, but the bad  ones that are running lights, crossing over, being aggressive, they're a large  part of the statistic."

In another crash on Wednesday morning, cyclist Anthony Platts-Baggs was left  with two broken legs after his bicycle and an Australia Post delivery truck  collided on the Princes Highway at St Peters.

Mr Platts-Baggs was trapped under the truck for more than an hour before  emergency service workers could free him.

Asked if cyclists should be banned from certain busy thoroughfares, such the  Princes Highway, Mr Gay told 2UE that he was considering the option.

"We will look at it on a safety basis," Mr Gay said.

"The hard thing is, if I put a carte blanche ban in, there are some really  good rides that cyclists do, and part of it involves Southern Cross Drive and  then on down to Wollongong. I understand how important this is for cyclists, but  there have been a couple of accidents there," he said.

Mr Gay said the number of cyclist deaths this year was down on last year,  "but that's no huge solace because last year was a record year".

Last year 14 cyclists died on NSW roads, which was double the the figure of  the previous year.

"We need to get people to be more careful, but the key is to get the people  in bigger vehicles to understand that they need to be more observant, but the  other part is we need cyclists to actually obey the rules and be helpful as  well," Mr Gay said.

He acknowledged that his comments would be contentious.

"Before the phones run off the hook, as I know they will, it is a very small  section of cyclists that don't do the right thing. It would be probably under  one per cent," he said.

 

More victim blaming.

First I would ask how many cyclists already have some sort of motor vehicle licence. Anecdotely it appears very high. While a lot of us on here don't have our own dedicated cars, it appears that most of us do have drivers licences, and I would expect this to be the case for many cyclists. So what would be the point?

Banning cyclists from roads? Re SCD, I live in the area, use it in a car or truck reasonably often, see plenty of cyclists, but have never had any issue with them? Why, because I know how to drive - AND I apply myself to that task where required. I don't pilot a mobile lounge room eating, drinking, texting, doing spreadsheets, reading broadsheet newspaers, reading gossip magazines, personal grooming etc etc (the last few are actual examples I have seen).

But my concern is not just about the impact on cyclists, we give everyone a licence in Australia because it is the easier transport solution. Despite any BS rhetoric you hear, a drivers licence in Australia is essentially a right, as it is to abuse it. Most dangerous traffic indiscretions are not really policed, and I am not just talking about cyclist issues. Motorists essentially have a carte blanche to do as they wish with relative impunity. You can f someone up for life with no concequence, just because you have a drivers licence. It is a licence to kill.

I admit I am disaffected by the consequences of idiotic drivers, hence my vitriol. But blaming the victims and punishing them will just perpetuate this crap (largely fueled by the huge majority politics of the whole motoring entitlement mentality) that I fear there is no hope on the horizon. At least while apathy reigns. But it is not just cyclists disaffected by this whole situatiuon, but like any good utilitarian ideal, road carnage is just the societal accepted price of convenience.

/r

 

Andrew, one of the best few paragraphs written on the subject for a while. You are absolutely right, most drivers see their licence as a right, as you say, giving everyone a drivers licence is the easy transport option. I am, however, in favour of cyclist training, where skills are taught in order to keep us safe, being taught why it's not a good idea to filter on the left of a truck or bus, why it's just stupid to wear ear phones whilst cycling and why it's just plain dumb to run a red light even if we believe we are doing no harm.

Just about every ride I do is punctuated by at least one driver who feels the inconsequential urge to fling their vehicle in front of me, regardless of the law or their community obligation. I have a GoPro recording everything, I wish I didn't have to do it but these days, riding mainly on my own, I feel I have to.

If I took every incident I have recorded to the Police I'd be in there every day. My wife doesn't want to know the details of incidents, she refuses to look at the videos, she just wants to know that I [a] had a good ride and [b] arrived home intact.

Mr Gay would be well advised to read forums such as this one, and, instead of sticking another band aid on a sick system, look at the underlying reasons for these tragic events. How about a reporting and demerit system for motorists based on video evidence that everyone understands, an examination system for motorists that involves every law that pertains to vulnerable road users for a start. If you look at Mr Gay's history on issues of transport, you'll notice a trend, he is stuck in a cultural and intellectual time warp and he's not in any hurry to move on from it.

I'm sorry to say that Mr Gay appears to be a political anachronism, although he does appear to have a finely attuned antenna to populism. It will secure votes in the marginals.

Having said that: at the risk of alienating certain members, I'm not sure about the idea of the Australian Cyclists Party - does it not run the risk of marginalising us as just another fringe user group? Whilst I laud, in every respect it's motives, history suggests, if attempts by other groups are any guide, a less than stellar record of success. 

Good points. Especially...   road carnage is just the societal accepted price of convenience.

To the observation/feared-prediction about the ACP….history suggests, if attempts by other groups are any guide, a less than stellar record of success. 

The mood was that things had got so bad and were just getting worse. For decades (not just for years) some of us have worked in, and contributed in many ways to, cycle advocacy.  Yet we feel we are getting pathetic results. We are up against crooks. (I am referring to the daily revelations from the ICAC about what some of our elected representatives have been doing.) As an example, decisions about development have been corrupted When we needed urban development that made the transport implications less dependent on cars we got ones that were influenced by crooked interests of crooks that had got into government. We (cycling advocates)  need leverage.

It is amazing that we can hear a Minister talk like this. Where has he been? Does he know ANYTHING? Surely he does and he is just out of his zone of expertise. Anyway the ignorance is astounding. Read the comments today in the SMH online following MO's news report and again, one is astounded at the lack of comprehension in the community. So folks, we really have no choice but to put work into this. Hence the ACP is going to move into the space more and more. Without the lever (a member in the NSW Upper House) though, it will not work.

One more remark if I may. A few nights ago I was at the intersection of Pyrmont Bridge Rd and Parramatta Rd waiting to cross so I could proceed along PB Rd to the city thence North. I noticed a rider coming down Parra Rd without lights. He swung left on PB road and as I eventually came up behind him 50 metres before the Booth St lights, I spoke to him.  "mate. You're hard to see from behind with no lights."… he came back with "So you are one of those people who goes around interrupting people and telling them what they should do". I thought and said "mate you are very hard to see from behind and it is dangerous".  The last words on this were from him…"Fuck off". With that he rode through the red lights at the Booth/PBR intersection, in the dark, with no lights.

As I rode home I contemplated my commitment to defend vulnerable road users. We, like The Minister, have to put ratbags like that guy out of our minds. The problem is that 60-70% of people who WOULD cycle are not. And they are not about to. They are a bit less likely to as each day goes by. It is up to governments to lead the way out of this ludicrous situation and this government, with this Minister, is not doing it.

what magic licences that magically protect us ?

Well the magic hats aren't working, so maybe if we stick a magic licence to the magic hat?.... only one magic licence has a hope of protecting us, membership of the ACP.

Such a shame that the big take away from all that is "licence cyclists and ban them from the roads". Mr Gay has come out with a few decent comments in there, but it all gets lost because of that short headline.

Good points:

- he needs to be tougher on drivers

- recognises that most cyclists do the right thing

- there is a group who do the wrong thing and skew the stats

- acknowledges that some major roads are also very popular cycling routes.

I would like to think that there is room for cycling groups (BNSW, CyclingNSW, BN, BikeSydney, CPF, ACP, etc) to work with Transport NSW to identify ways to improve safety for cyclists, especially on the popular major roads (Princes Hwy, Southern Cross Drive, etc).

But the elephant in the room, for me at least, is this statement : 

It's not going to worry the ones that are doing the right thing, but the bad  ones that are running lights, crossing over, being aggressive, they're a large  part of the statistic.

Those "bad ones" aren't going to bother getting a cycling licence. So you're just punishing the "ones doing the right thing". 

Maybe I'm just a little optimistic this morning.

It'd be nice if he reminded motorists of some of the benefits cyclists bring to them:

- reduce congestion

- keep the demand for and therefore price of petrol down

- reduce wear and tear on the road system, therefore spreading the road budget further

- disproportionately over contribute to the funding of roads (proportionately pay more in taxes than is spent on cycling infrastructure) and therefore subsidise roads for drivers.

I'll stop now.

More people are cycling

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