Cycling in Sydney Australia
I don't know if anyone pays much attention to Transport for NSW, however on the 20th of February they issued a media release stating "Centre for Road Safety has approached the Amy Gillett Foundation, a member of the NSW Road Safety Council, to help raise awareness among cyclists about their safety on the road". Like we need reminding!
This has lead to some heated discussion on the AGF facebook page (I and others who are also active on this site have contributed). I find it interesting that Transport for NSW isn't asking the NRMA to do something among it's members to remind them about the danger they pose to other road users such as cyclists and pedestrians. It is also interesting that Transport for NSW has not got BNSW involved.
I know I sound much like Philip Ruddock talking about his Amnesty International membership but the Amy Gillett Foundation is an organisation who's aims I support, but I am going to ask what is the point of reminding cyclists of something we already know? Shouldn't the AGF and BNSW for that matter be making representations to Transport for NSW and the RMS and the NSW Police regarding some of the dangerous and reckless behaviour we encounter from motorists and the lack of enforcement from the Police and RMS?
I am still getting myself ready for the Big Canberra Bike Ride which is an Amy Gillett fund raiser and will encourage everyone on this site to get involved. Having said that I think we also need to get involved with the AGF to make sure it doesn't wind up like BNSW (ie out of touch and irrelevant).
The links to the media release is here
The AGF facebook page is here
I read that the other day and groaned inwardly, as well as outwardly, I recall.
Even though it suggests they are including motorists in the awareness campaign, it smacks of victim blaming to me.
But then, I am a cynic.
I don't have a lot of faith in the AGF. "A metre matters" is such a weak slogan, and will never have any real impact on cycling conditions. It pisses me off that this organisation has the cash to run TV ads but squanders that opportunity.
But perhaps they wouldn't have the cash if they ran a stronger line.
>But perhaps they wouldn't have the cash if they ran a stronger line.
Begging on your knees only ever got someone kicked in the teeth. Politics is about pressure, and AGF exerts pressure on cyclists, not on governments, government agencies or motorists.
I`m still disappointed of Amy`s ride `Parra Pedal` that "A metre matters" don`t apply on that route as we have to ride mostly on SUP and not been on road for more than 85% of the time to teach the drivers awareness.
It is becoming a joke for AGF and it was the worst ride of my life. There`s no motor vehicles on SUP to give us room of a metre safely.
That could be it, they are walking a fine line of course
This is what AGF has in the TFNSW media release:
"The Amy Gillett Foundation said the 2013 spike in NSW cyclist road deaths showed more work was needed.
“There has been much good work by road authorities, governments and cycling bodies to improve cycling safety – particularly in the area of infrastructure – at a time when participation is growing,” Amy Gillett Foundation CEO Tracey Gaudry said.
“Unfortunately these sobering facts say one thing – it is not enough.
“The work of the Amy Gillett Foundation is very much about shared respect to achieve improved safety outcomes. This includes speed reduction, better driver and rider education and the importance of road rules,” Ms Gaudry said."
Since this summer is proving to be a bit of a tipping point, both regarding participation rates and fatality rates perhaps now is a good time to work with our in-the-tent body since they seem to have a voice of sorts with NSW government. Better to try to work with them than not to try at all.
Outside-the-tent is another subject, and that is our role. How about asking AGF what WE can do, for instance? The fact that govt is awake enough to recognise a problem might be an indicator that they are more receptive to cutting casualties than usual presently.
Does anyone know what the cause of the death of the four cases mentioned in the press release were? Was it car-on-bike? I didn't hear of them - have been too busy to pay attention to the real world for most of this year so far.
I agree Jonathon and wrote a short piece on Go!...
I have a lot of respect for AGF thought they like many other organisations that seek funding from the government do have a conundrum. When I took the reigns at BNSW I understood that the bending over backward strategy's logical conclusion is that you lose the respect of both your constituents and those who you are pleasing - as they begin to realise you don't actually represent anyone anymore and are actually rather toothless. They eventually begin to see they can actually do without you too. You might get invited to the best lunches but this is a one way ticket to oblivion.
for me this campaign is a litmus test for agf, it will be very interesting to see if they perform.
my experience of nsw engaging help for advice is that they will pick the body likely to say what they want to hear
I agree Martin. What is not stated is if the NSW government promised funding for a campaign or what? This should be a mainstream issue for TfNSW and RMS and their department ministers should be front and centre both publicly and in calling for their departments to begin the serious awareness and behaviour change initiative that is long overdue.
Issuing some pointless media release and using the AGF merely a fig leaf would be quite disappointing - let's hope there is more to it.