Home' Journeys : Feb Mar 2015 Contents The winning view
Scott Crumlin wins a $50 travel
voucher for his wombat observation.
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Cyclists aren’t freeloaders!
D isappointingly, Dave Hayden’s ‘Pay as
you pedal’ letter in the last issue of
Journeys brings up the discredited concept
of registering bicycles. MAIB insurance is
mentioned but this is a red herring.
First, many cyclists who belong to either
Bicycle Tasmania or Cycling Australia
already have third party insurance
included in their memberships.
Second, it is highly unlikely that a cyclist
will cause injury to a motorist, who is
driving safely cocooned in aluminium,
plastic and steel – the statistics show that
motorists injure cyclists and other road
users. It is the cyclists that need protection.
The second point in the letter was that
cyclists were getting their road use ‘for
free’, but are they?
MAIB, registration and licence fees do not
pay for roads. Most roads are paid for by
councils from rates. Adult cyclists and
motorists both pay these and most are
taxpayers. State and federal roads are paid
for by taxes, in part including petrol tax.
Finally, bicycles do virtually no damage to
the road surface, unlike several tonnes of
car or more so, an SUV.
But what about pedestrians? They are
not licensed or registered. Furthermore,
footpaths are strictly off limits to cars, as
clearly articulated by Lindy Mollineaux’s
letter in the same issue of Journeys.
So please look after cyclists and ‘give us a
metre’ for safety’s sake.
Evan Evans, Lindisfar ne
Arrogance on the roads and tracks
M y particular beef is the arrogance of so
many road users.
For example, drivers who change their
mind about their direction, or get in the
wrong lane – and can’t be bothered to
go round the block or even pull back, to
change safely, but instead must push their
way to where they want to go because they
are more important than everyone else.
Some cyclists see the Hobart bike track
as their personal race track. They often
approach silently from behind and race
past as close as possible, shouting or
swearing if other users dare to cause them
the slightest inconvenience.
Some truck drivers who use the back
streets of Moonah crossing the bike track
forget that this is a suburban street, not an
open highway – and as on any suburban
street, it is quite likely there will be
And then there’s our old favourite, the
drivers who see no need to indicate where
they are going because everyone else, on
road and footpath, is a mind-reader.
I get more consideration from drivers in
Indonesia, and while of course needing to
take care as a pedestrian with the much
higher volume of traffic, I still feel safer
Jo McRae, Lenah Valley
R ecently on a trip out to Perth from
Launceston I was heading along the
highway when I turned a corner to see
three cars in the distance ahead going
very slowly. I thought that it must be an
accident, or someone with engine trouble,
so I lowered my speed and proceeded
with caution. As I got closer to the traffic,
I noticed that nothing seemed to be
wrong, yet they were crawling along the
highway. I settled in behind them at a safe
distance. I saw a pair of arms and a mobile
outstretched from one of the vehicles. I
looked in the direction it was pointing and
imagine my delight when I saw a wombat,
walking casually across the road!
The middle of the afternoon, people with
places to be, on a fast, dual-lane highway
and yet all action had ground to almost a
stop just to let this little treasure cross the
road unscathed. As it finally reached the
side of the road it turned its head slightly,
surely not to nod ‘thank you’? What a
beautiful reminder of our wonderful state
and the people that live in it, that ever yone
would go slow to let a wombat make its
way unharmed. Tasmania, truly a special
place to call home.
Scott Crumlin, Riverside
I have been a member for 51 years and
have always been treated with efficiency
and courtesy. Last week we needed a
new battery and because of this our car
radio went into security mode. Roadside
patrolman John Dane, who attended to our
problem, went out of his way to get this
problem fixed, as well as fitting our new
batter y. I would like to sincerely thank him
for his helpfulness.
Diny Van Galen, Mowbray
February / March 2015 11
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