And again….

July 23, 2018 at 21:57 | Posted in bicycles | 10 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,

Yes, it happened again. Again, when I was stationary. Festooned in hi-viz and flashing lights. A car drove into me – a sort of low-speed crunching as my bicycle was devoured by the front of his gas-guzzling SUV. Thankfully the driver stopped before he got to me, leaving my bike jammed under his car, my saddle (where I was sitting) hard up against his bonnet. (video here)

It is getting worse out there. Drivers are increasingly distracted. Mobile phone use is endemic, and rarely properly policed. Most modern cars now feature touch-screens that take drivers attention away from the road for ten or twenty seconds at a time as they prod at it to change the radio or operate the sat nav.

Against this near-universal back drop, in Sydney it is further stoked by the increasing aggression shown by drivers towards cyclists. This is rooted in the aggressively anti-cycling stance of the state government, coupled with heavy handed anti-cycling policing, all capped with a broadly anti-cycling safety ‘industry’ that seeks to blame cyclists for the increasing road toll and a populist media near universally playing the ‘law-breaking cyclist’ and ‘war on the roads’ angles constantly.

I am now at a point, sad to say, where I would not recommend to anyone they cycle in Sydney. I used to encourage my colleagues to cycle to work. I no longer do that. The environment is so hostile that I can’t recommend it. This, of course, makes me very sad, and also very angry. The sheer stupidity and short-sightedness of our policy makers and media is breathtaking. In the latest NSW budget, there are zero dollars for cycling, and all mentions of cycling targets or programs have been expunged from the Transport for NSW website. Pretty much all that remains are pages telling cyclists to wear helmets and ‘share the road’.

Well, I was sharing the road the other day. It just seems others don’t want to share it with me.

 

PS The police, predictably, refused to take a statement or follow up the incident, even when given the video footage. Too busy policing deserted stop signs, perhaps.

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10 Comments »

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  1. Oh wow, it’s bad enough that this happened, but for the police to refuse to do anything about it!

  2. I hope you are OK!

  3. Its hard to be positive ith such negativity around. #drivesafepasswide

  4. Have you thought of contacting Bicycle NSW for assistance with this?

  5. Wow – There is nothing worse that the divide between cyclists and drivers – we are all the same people, just trying to get somewhere. Glad you are OK.

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. I wouldn’t stop hasseling the police. Get the inspector or the senior officer on station. Ultimately you can complain to the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission if they don’t do what we pay them to do.

    I hope you got the drivers details so you can make him pay for the damage.

    On a different note can the bike be resurrected? It looks like he destroyed your wheel but not the frame – or did he?

    Personally I wouldn’t stop riding because of this. I would also not stop recommending cycling in Sydney. This will lead to people giving up and giving the Alan Jones’s/Harold Scruby’s/NRMAs the victory they so crave.

  7. Dan, this is terrible. Google NSW police manual. From memory, it’s at around page 496 or so, it says that police WILL SERIOUSLY INVESTIGATE a crash when you are willing to give a statement and willing to go to court as a witness if necessary. These are the magic words to use, “I want to make a statement and I’m willing to go to court”. Take a copy of the page with the police manual with you just in case they still resist. Then escalate to the Local Area Commander. This is in no way acceptable.

  8. Dan, any updates to this situation and your experience with making a statement to police? It’s not acceptable that they refuse to take a statement. I don’t even understand how they can. You can make statements for the most minor things if only for insurance. This is much more serious.

  9. Totally disgusting. Makes me ashamed to call myself an Australian, if this is the attitude of the police, and the general public.

  10. Wow ….. shocking. This will start to make me look more often behind me. Hope you re ok mate. You were they one that made me start riding in Sydney.


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