Yesterday whilst riding south along Lady Gowrie Drive at Largs Bay (at about 7:20pm – still lots of daylight, with both a front and rear flashing light) I had the unfortunate experience of being cut off by a 4wd that decided at the last moment that turning left to enter Jetty Road was the most important thing in his life. After raising my voice to enquire about his intelligence, it made me think, why does this type of event occur far too often?
The driver of the 4wd had passed me only moments earlier to get to a roundabout before me, then as he was driving a lumbering diesel and I was powering a svelte carbon joy of technology, I was soon right along side. My sixth sense cut in, I realized what he is probably oblivious to, ie what a poor driver he truly is; because in reality I was not totally surprised when he indicated to turn left when only a short distance away from the corner and then proceeded to change direction, even though my front wheel was beside his vehicle as the indicator went on. Not once did his eyes glance in the passenger side external mirror.
Then it dawned on me, it appears that many motorists do not consider a bike land in the same manner that they would give consideration to driving on a dual carriage roadway. One would hope that not many motorists would indicate to turn left to go down a side street from the outside lane of a dual carriage road without making sure that the inside lane was clear of traffic. Alas, that is what happens far too often to cyclists when traveling in a bike lane. I don't know what the answer is, or how to resolve this issue, (maybe as part of driving education bike lanes could be described as being similar to a dual carriageway).
Have others had similar thoughts in relation to the above?
Hi Michael, the new Australian design guides for cycling facilities includes a new roundabout layout, at long last. For years according to photos I have seen, The Netherlands has used a superior roundabout design with cyclist safety in mind.
Absolutely, happens all the time :-( and makes you feel very vulnerable and ignored on the bike. Education is probably the best way to try and change behaviour. Motorists want us to use bike lanes when they are available, so i see no reason why they shouldn't be educated to think of it as another proper lane of traffic and take appropriate measures when entering/crossing etc. In fact i'd be surprised if they shouldn't be doing it already - again it's down to how they are educated when learning to drive.
And i always trust my sixth sense on the bike too :-)
On the driveway issue:
My house has a high boundary fence so I make it a habit to 'toot' as I leave the driveway - forwards or reversing, and I frequently find a grateful parent, dog walker or cyclist waiting for me when I reach reach the footpath. For the neighbor's sake I don't do it late at night or before dawn, but my lights provide the warning then..
If that was seen as a good idea, maybe it could become a community awareness campaign like the "a meter matters" type ad?
That car drivers can or will not see you in their mirror does not surprise me. I have made serious eye contact with car drivers and still had them pull out in front of me or into me. I work on the theory now that as soon as I get on my bike now that I am overcome with a superpower and are rendered invisible.
No matter what I am wearing or where I ride car drivers are unable to register a image of me and my bicycle on their retina!!
Until we get a change in attitude by legislators and a car mad society we had better get used to it. I am getting sick of reading about cyclists getting killed and then cyclists getting the blame.
It pisses me off.
What about lousy car drivers attitude. Poor road design and lousy infrastructure and planning.
How about politicians doing something about these issues.
How about some publicity to educate cagers that every cyclist on the road is one less car clogging up their precious road space.
How about police actually taking reports from cyclists about inappropriate behaviour by motorists seriously and actually following up on them.
End of rant.
Be careful out there I do not want to read about any more cyclist deaths.
I'm sorry Jeff - you WILL read about more cyclists dying cos of cars simply 'not seeing' us. Like you, I am dreadfully distressed by the situation. I truely feel I will die one day on my bicyle. Sad huh?
yes, I agree with you that this driver was obviously lacking in intelligence (and eyesight).
I realise this is an anarchic response - and I wouldn't want to promote it (much!), but 2 days ago, while speeding along Anzac Hwy singing on my bike 2 P-platers with a hotted up car decided to throw some plastic at me.
I sped up and met them at the lights, took out my keys and voila! I simply scratched right along the body of their car, crashed into their rear view mirror, jumped onto the footpath and raced away - singing!
Although I have dreamt of showing car drivers that I am not as vulnerable or as innocuous as I may look, this is the first time (ok, the 2nd) I managed to scare them the way they they scare me. Of course, I'd prefer a more loving, respectful, (and legal) relationship - but maybe it's time to simply be as BAD ARSE AS THEM??
I think I've had dreams of beating up a motorist with my pump, but in reality I'd settle for giving the rego to the police and trust the coppers to at least have a warning chat..
And I expect you'll get some flack on this forum for 'giving cyclists a bad name' but I think given the fear then anger you experienced, revenge is not surprising. This wasn't particularly about bike vrs car- just about 2 cowardly bullies getting a surprise when their victim fought back.
Hi Jeff, Have you voted for the cyclist friendly council candidate over your way?
Australian road authorities could solve many of the cycling hazards by good road design. Give cyclists minimal space, place the bicycle lanes within reach of opening car doors plus vehicles pulling into or out of parking, etc, and what does one expect. This also encourages uninformed driver anger towards cyclists. Follow The Netherlands system where cyclists have their own space, adjacent to but separated from car lanes, and the outcome would be less cyclist 'near misses', injuries and fatalities.
However, Australian road authorities would need to reduce on-street car parking. How about removing all car parking on arterial roads, and replace with well-designed separated, raised and coloured bicycle lanes? After all in Australia, the majority of serious and fatal cyclist collisions occur on arterial roads. Pedestrians are given their own space called footpaths, which decreases mixing it with traffic. The road authorities do not have the will or guts to remove on-street car parking to improve safety of vulnerable road users.
Yep and have put some of the neanderthals last. With a not so crazy Mayor maybe we could attract a bit of funding for some better infrastructure. Only on Sunday Aurora I had a couple of wankers in a dirty brown commodore pull out of a corner spinning their wheels coming within about 6 inches of me with the passenger leaning out trying to grab me and make me fall!!!
What is it with these idiots. What was I doing that affected their life so much that they felt the need to risk my life by such a stupid prank. I have just purchased a helmet cam but as it was on and off raining I did not have have it on my helmet. One day I will catch some of these idiots on video and perhaps the cops will FINALLY do something about them. I was hoping to catch up with the brown commodore. Only to get the number plate though. Every time I have had the misfortune to cross paths with these type of idiots by the time I have regained my balance and composure they are always too far away to get the number plate. I have a sneaking suspicion that it is the same car that threw a bottle at me 6 months ago on my commute home from work. I just hope I see the car around Port Lincoln so that I can report it. Given SAPOL's disinterest in cyclist safety it most probably wont do much good. I would like to see some real action with these type of idiots. Impound their cars, lose their licenses. Have some real consequences for their idiotic actions. Maybe riding a bike for a while might improve their attitude towards cyclists!!
Jeff, I had a similar incident. It was on dusk as I headed up a hill near home to the GP's rooms. I heard a vehicle coming from behind and veering to the left so closer to me. Next moment a male passenger, who was leaning out of the window, grabbed my buttock. Not that I saw him in time to get any warning. Startled me, which would not surprise you. Then the car stopped ahead, waiting to get onto an arterial road. Frustrating that I was cycling slowly up hill and could not get near enough to the stopped car to read the number plate in the dusk. When the GP saw me, he wanted to check my blood pressure. Told him not to bother cos I knew it was up.
Let me know how you find your helmet cam. I would like a relatively inconspicuous bullet cam (obvious one may create more flak from a negligent driver) that attaches to a helmet (follow the line-of-sight of the cyclist, eg when driver on left fails to give way). Also a camera that can clearly film the registration number (for evidence, but the big problem is that the vehicle can be so fast, or the vehicle disappears while the cyclist is recollecting his thoughts after a near miss). The police in a US state this year introduced one that fits my brief, but I am not prepared to pay US$1700 for something that can be easily broken during the next collision.