" Cowards Pass " is NOT a SPORT , but reading of the Misadventues in various States , in the early days of 2014 , an outsider would rightfully conclude , that Australian Drivers are amongst the WORST in the World, or that they NEVER LEARNED TO DRIVE ! Years ago , i used to remark to others , that a bad example of Driving , was the result of " Sending in a coupon , from the back of a KELLOGGS Cornflakes Pack ! Many Aussies will recall , sitting at the breakfast table , reading the various offers on " Cereal Packs"? Captive audience whilst munching whatever was part of the daily breakfast routine .
Older Drivers may well have returned from the World War 2 , applied for a driving licence and without too much ado , been given a licence to DRIVE ! Doubt that Eye Sight was even tested in those days ? Many of the Migrants to Oz in the mid 1950s , would have exchanged their original Country's driving Licence for any State driving Licence , perhaps with few formalities? In 1967 i recall exchanging the UK Licence for a NSW Licence at DMR Redfern , a Sydney Suburb , once notorious as the " Blackman's Ghetto , now the sought after " New Paddo "! I had passed the UK Driving Licence in 1962 , allowing me to drive vehicles upto 7 1/2 ton , Eye Sight & basic " Road Rules test " easily passed . 15 years later a Taxi Licence was more difficult to obtain because a certain amount of " Knowledge of significant Sydney Landmarks " was required!
These days Vehicle Licencing requires each mode of Vehicle to be treated as a " Series of Tests " , mostly with Formal Training over a set minimum period of time . Now more expense and thus investment required to obtain the " PRIVELEGE of operating that Class of Vehicle " ! A privelege that can be taken away , IF , the Laws of the Country are IGNORED !
PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME , WHY , on a daily basis , so MANY drivers are determined to find a Law Enforcement Officer , and demonstrate WHY they deserve to LOSE their Licence ? Daily those on a bike experience the worst road conditions , the WORST Drivers and a lack opf sympathy from the Policing Authorities ! Regretably a " LEO/Police Officer " can only ACT , if they see the incident ! They are bound by the AUTHORITIES that employ them , to take note , BUT , unless there is significant VISIBLE damage their hands are tied ! Even the use of " Video Camera Evidence " in many Countries , is not considered acceptable verification of an incident . When on the occasion of damage or Injury , Policing can only record details for an " Insurance Claim "! Lawyers have reached such a point that they have instilled a " Sense of Fear " into an Authorities Mindset ?
London experienced " Rioting " in 2011 , after a Known Criminal , was intercepted in a Taxi , after he had "puchased a Gun " ! The Armed Police Officer in the " STOP Action " , discharged his weapon , in the need to protect LIVES ! Duggan was killed by the second bullet . What took place in the few seconds between Duggan's exiting the Taxi with " something " in his hand , and this 2nd bullet , has been the cause of a Coroner's Court Jury Trial . His family are calling for Civil Unrest , because they saw the Jury Verdict as detrimental to THEIR idea of what took place !
As a result of this " Difference of Opinion " , Armed Police Officers are now , about to be equipped with "Video Cameras " , whilst on these Duties ! As if they had nothing better to do than Protect Citizens , they NOW , have to protect themselves from the " Slurs " cast on them by those Lawyers after a " Quick Buck"? No longer a case of YEARS of exemplary service , being needed to QUALIFY as a " Armed Response Police Officer " , they have to be able to operate/direct VIDEO at those posing " IMMEDIATE Life Threatening RISK " !
So it comes as no surprise that Cyclists are having to GEAR Up with Video Evidence of any incident that they encounter on a ride ? Latest case of a Video Incident :
Seems that even Cyclists , are unsure of whether the Cyclist skittled , should have gone in front of the errant car , gone behind, or STOPPED ! With his being part of a group , did he have much choice ? What of the Motorist , did they act correctly ? Having lived in that area in the early 1990s , i recall that service station and i would have been on the road rather than that bike path .
Cameras mounted on Helmets in West Australia are currently frowned on by the Policing Authorities :
Seems that W.A. Policing are of the opinion , that an attachment to a helmet contravenes the " Code "?
Those reading my Blogs will recall i mention " Hugh Porter " occasionally . This London QC , is highly aware of the risks of Commuting on a bike into London ! His Blogs are full of Legal matters related to Cycling and well worth a read :
Since starting " Facebook.com/RightofWayAustralia " i have been in touch with a few people . The response to my emails has been disappointing . NYC RoW , who inspired this intiative and @Aushiker have yet to respond to requests ? Statistics are a difficult thing to pin down because everyone has a different POV , thus there can be a different slant on several sites ?
Whilst the Internet throws up a variety of Incidents , there is nothing like having HELP from the LOCALS , so i look forward to aNY ASSISTANCE rendered by those visiting the site and clicking " LIKE "!
THose Policing Authorities that i manage to contact would have their OWN Experience of Cycling and thus will ADD to my points listed here :
Motoring Rules needing ATTENTION :
1/ 1M Safe pass of Cyclist at under 30kph
2/ 1 1/2M Safe pass of Cyclist at higher speeds
3/ NO PASS of Cyclists in School Zones , and , on or under Bridges
4/ NO Pass of Cyclists within 100M of Road Junction or Bus Zone . No overtake of Cyclist within 100M of entering Service Station , Private Property ( doubt it is legal for vehicle to pass vehicle in these circumstances ?)
5/ No PASS by/of ONCOMING Vehicle when Cycle is within 300M , on OTHER LANE OF ROAD
6/ SIGNALLING of Passing Manouvre and return to lane when overtaking Cyclist
7/ Use of Hazard lights to indicate following a Cyclist when requried to slow , due to traffic
8/ ALL Large Vehicles to display a Decal depicting " Safe Pass Message "! Even larger 4 x 4 ( Chelsea Tractors ) & Tinted windowed vehicles
9/ Allow Under 16yo to ride Footpaths & Over 60yo at upto 15kph , particularly when accompanied .
10/ Requirement for Police Officers under 35yo , to do Cycling Duties , as Plain Clothed Officers , 5 shifts each month . Teaching School Children for the Older Officers
11/ Advance Zone at Traffic Lights
12/ Treating Red Light as GIVE WAY on a Left hand Filtering Turn , at under 20kph
13/ Acceptence of Video Camera evidence for Court proceedings
14/ Introduction of a Federal Vehicular Manslaughter Law , as in Italian Road Code
15/ Should be a prohibition of the use of the Vehicle horn at the rear of a Cyclist ( friends would tap After passing ?)
16/ Professional Emergency Vehicle Drivers training requires their FULL Compliance with ALL State Laws when in NON Emergency Transit , thus they SHOULD be subject to DOUBLE Penalty when infringing those Traffic Laws that are commonly flouted by the public ! LEAD BY EXAMPLE !
Mr/Mrs Motorist disgards " Traffic Habits " as they see THOSE that should set an example , fail to do their JOB correctly ?
Emergency Vehicle Operators MUST BE SEEN to comply with TRAFFIC HABITS , thus no Texting , Eating , Smoking in Vehicle BY DRIVER at ANY TIME !
Can you IMAGINE that a " P Plate driver " is allowed to get a $A300 fine and 3 demerits for MULTIPLE Texting , when NOT Wearing a Cycling Helmet is generally a fine of $A330 ?
Cycling on the Roads for Profis , is a question of choosing the Time and Place : Steve Tilford runs a blog that i enjoy reading and has just posted on his 1st ride of the year . The disappointment for me is that January is normally Ski Touring time but with Dry Sunny 10+C weather , i am sharing the roads with Mutton heads driving 7 1/2Ton Wagons , choosing to pass mm from me , when they are not in my rear beeping for me to get out of their way . Having been pushed off the bike by the wagon on Tuesday , a stop at the Schwaz Polizei was the only option . No doubt today's near miss was the same mutant or a colleague ?
Here is my comment to Steve's blog :
" Today is the 9th day of the year on a bike . Getting funny looks riding around with bare legs in 10+C ! I even was haled by a local pedestrian , as i was finishing the morning ride . He was on the way home from Tennis in a Hall . He told me that normally he starts Cycling mid march , but was so inspired by my efforts , that he was going out Cycling after some lunch .
The Polizei Commando Post i visited today , told me that this company employs Cowboys ! How right she is! Fortunately for me , both the Polizei i spoke with , speak English like a Native . Bad luck for tourists that try the " nicht sprecken Deutsch "?
London Cyclists are getting VERY Organised with their " SubAd Campaign "!
Taking the Transport for LONDON Ads as a base , they have created a Whole Series of EYE Catching results !
Wish i was so creative ?
ADD YOUR ads to HELP CYCLISTS and i will ADD them !
14th Jan 2014
This is how London Metro Police hope to save CYCLISTS' LIVES :