Lazy Libs/police on MPD and changing attitude of ALP on cyclist penalties

For the last few years I've been in discussions with my local ALP state member primarily regarding the anti-cycling and lazy attitude of the police when it comes to enforcing the mandatory passing distance law, and to a lesser extent, the stupidity of the revenue raising laws that they are enforcing. Today she sent me the following letters. It appears that ALP may be changing to recognise the stupidity of the magnitude of fines against cyclists, and one would hope that they would continue to improve if they get into office. She also attached a response from Kevin Anderson outlining the government's "we're here to help you" attitude towards cycling, and of course, passing the buck from the lazy anti cycling politicians to the lazy police for MPD enforcement. Make your own assessment!

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Interesting they cite $62 million for cycling and ped infrastructure last budget. It's gone down to almost zero this budget..

Should be 20% of roads budget too.

Many UK police forces are educating and enforcing close pass laws with officers on bikes. Why not the NSW Police? What act of mass civil disobedience to we need to organise to shame polititicans into making this life saving measure a reality? Any suggestions? Maybe a memorial service in front of Parliament at which the names of all cyclist fatalities for the last 10 years are read out? BICYCLE NSW WHERE ARE YOU???

Well done Dabba. Don't let up.

Following the above response, I was pretty pissed off at Anderson's response, so I sent the following back to my MP- 

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Thank you for your approaches to the government on the persistent anti cycling attitudes of the police that is evidenced by their continued significant failure to enforce the minimum passing distance of cyclists by motorists.

In Kevin Anderson’s response to your submission that you received on 28 June, he has wheeled out the usual “blame the victim” attitude that seems to pervade the government in cycling matters. With RMS statistics continually showing that in around 80% of cases, the motorist is at fault in bike/vehicle collisions, the police and the government choose to take action against the cyclist to prevent collisions. We both know the uproar when this sort of attitude appears when a rape victim is blamed for being raped. How can it be any different for a cyclist, particularly when the bike/car collision so easily becomes a fatality. It is patently obvious that their continued “attack the cycling community” attitude is not reducing the number of cycling fatalities, in fact they have increased since the introduction of Dunc’s draconian laws. They are choosing to attack the 20% of the problem, rather than the 80% caused by motorists. Enforcement of the MPD law would change the balance in this equation and make cycling safer.

I would like you to ask the minister the following questions:

  • Why are the government and police intent on pursuing a victim blaming approach to cyclists by failing to enforce the MPD laws when the government’s own statistics show that around 80% of bike/car collisions are the fault of the motorist? The increased number of fines issued to cyclists since the introduction of these laws is not reflected in any corresponding proportional number of fines issued to motorists for failing to provide the MPD. In fact, evidence from Bicycle NSW suggests that the number of MPD fines issued to motorists over a 12 month period wouldn’t even go close to the number of close passes experienced by cyclists in one day throughout the State.
  • Why are the government and police intent on pursuing cyclists for revenue raising fines when the number of cycling fatalities has increased since these fines were introduced, but they still ignore the unsafe passing actions of motorists who are the biggest threat to cycling safety?
  • Why does the Police Minister continue to allow police to refuse to pursue motorists for failure to comply with MPD law when they are provided with video evidence by cyclists who rightfully believe that their safety has been threatened?
  • How much of the $62 million in the 2017-18 NSW Budget will be spent on genuine cycling infrastructure, and what and where will it be? White paint does not constitute genuine cycling infrastructure!

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I received the following response from my MP's office -

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Yasmin has asked me to thank you for your email and respond on her behalf.

Yasmin has sent your correspondence to Jodi McKay MP – Shadow Minister for Transport and Shadow Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight to see if any of these questions can be put to the Minister on notice.

I’ll keep you updated when we hear back from Jodi’s office.

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Hopefully something will come of this! It would be useful for others to send similar sentiments to their state MP too.

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