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Journeys : April May 2009
Your views Journeys. Siding with cyclists I Lycra lawbreakers O n my daily early-morning journey along Main Road in Derwent Park and Glenorchy I regularly come across a group of mature-aged cyclists in full shiny lycra, undertaking an activity that they believe will keep them fit, but which, by their own actions, could lead to serious injuries or even death. I’m referring to the fact that these riders ignore the road rules and break the law. They regularly disregard red lights at the Lampton Avenue intersection, they turn left on a red signal at Springfield Avenue, cross a solid white line then re-enter Main Road on the other side of the intersection, illegally avoiding the red light. One morning recently I observed the lead rider trying to drag-off a bus at Eady Street so he could get in front for the narrow section through the shopping district. If these cyclists want respect, space and courtesy from drivers, they must comply with the same road rules that apply to motor vehicles and stop whinging every time a vehicle comes within a foot of them. B. Andrews Moonah According to a report from the Monash University Accident Research Centre, cyclists riding in large groups (‘bunch riding’) should be more closely regulated. The Monash report identified three road rules that bunch riders most frequently disobeyed – running red lights, cycling more than two abreast and, in the case of very large groups, moving into the path of vehicles. When travelling on roads, individual riders and groups are bound by the same rules as all other vehicles, including stopping at red lights and stop signs. Darren Moody General Manager, Roadside & Technical Services 10 April / May 09 refer to L. Carroll’s complaints about cyclists in the last issue of Motor News I am a cyclist. It makes me a much better car driver. It makes me more patient and tolerant. I leave bigger gaps so that I can more easily read the road in front. I try to drive at safe, sensible speeds. I do my best to see that I cause no grief. I put this down to being a lifelong and regular cyclist. I would like to see a cycle lane along Sandy Bay Road, all the way into Hobart, both ways. I’d like to see a 50 km/h speed limit and the road made single-lane both ways. Unlike a lot of people, I don’t have a media- induced love affair with my motor vehicle. It’s just another petrol-engined metal box on four wheels. I love riding a bike. I love the freedom of it, the physical exercise, the economy. I do nobody any harm, I don’t pollute, I don’t potentially kill anybody, I don’t consume natural resources. Tax me as a cyclist if you want, but in return I will ask for safe cycle paths, bike parks and safer roads. Mr Carroll talks about taking a step back to have a serious look at problem cyclists. I say let’s take a step forward with sensible planning and make a safer world for us and our children to enjoy. Philip Lowe Sandy Bay Legal jaywalking? behaviour and inconsistent traffic lights) I would like offer the following suggestion. At major intersections, traffic in all directions should be stopped, allowing time for pedestrians to cross safely in every direction, including diagonally across intersections. This is the way pedestrian traffic is facilitated in central Perth. Here in Hobart a pedestrian often has to make two crossings to get from place to place. I suggest that allowing diagonal crossings would prevent delays and thus frustration in pedestrians, which may well be the cause of so much of the risky crossing that we see in the city precinct. I M. Aiken n response to the letter ‘Tripping the light fantastic’ (on risky pedestrian Robert van Dijk’s rebuttal of Helen Arnold’s complaint about tailgating truckies drew strong criticism from a number of RACT members. These excerpts capture the flavour of the responses: Astounding His first is that ‘car manufacturers make speedos that usually read 5-10 km/h fast.’ This assertion is fascinating and disconcerting. The legal implications could be extraordinary. And do truck manufacturers also provide this ‘service’ to potential speedsters in order to keep them under the 100 km/h limit, imposed by law and confirmed by Robert? R His other assertion – that Helen should speed up and maintain 110 km/h in order not to be what he calls a ‘road hazard’ – is nothing short of astounding, considering he did not know the full details of Helen’s situation. She may have been driving to the conditions on that particular day; or she could have been driving at her car’s optimum power and economy. Are we not reminded by numerous signage that 110 km/h is ‘a limit, not a challenge’? Helen’s only mistake was not to note down the number plate of the tailgating truck driver and report his irresponsible behaviour to his employer or police, because intimidating any road-user is not only dangerous but stressful to the victim. J. Dare Mowbray Intolerant requirement to drive at the ‘set speed limit’, describing anyone driving at less than 110 km/h as a ‘road hazard’. As a truck driver, he may be under pressure from unrealistic schedules to drive in this irresponsible manner, but that is an issue he should take up with his employer. M If I choose to drive at 10 km/h less than the posted speed limit, I am saving fuel, giving myself a safety margin in an emergency and making it easier for those who wish to travel at the speed limit to overtake me. r van Dijk seems to be under the impression that there is a obert van Dijk makes a couple of assertions that require challenging.
June July 2009
June July 2008