After reading about more cyclists being hit, I feel compelled to write this...

The thing that riles me up the most is what happens to the motorist.

I have multiple fractures due to some idiot breaking the road rules. I'm in a wheelchair for a while, had to defer uni, I'll need extensive rehab, have massive scars, will get arthritis early in life,  may have permanent loss of function in my arm and leg depending on how I recover, can't do state titles, uni games or nationals in january (my goals for the yr) and the list goes on.

All he'll get are a few fines

If I went into a bar, got completely wasted, picked a fight with a stranger for no reason and put them in a wheelchair with broken bones, I'd end up in jail for aggravated assault, maybe even attempted murder.

Can anyone else see something wrong with this picture?

Until there are harsher penalties, we will just be the poor buggers "who shouldn't be on the road and deserve to be hit"

People cannot and should not use their cars as "weapons"


Stay safe everyone


PS.I don't give a crap if he feels guilt for the rest of his life (he proabably won't anyway) his guilt is nothing compared to what my family and I are going through and will continue to for a long time.



Views: 93

Comment by Steven Orr on March 27, 2011 at 14:24

Lisa, you are one hundred million bazillion % correct! I don't care what other people say on this issue, cyclists are treated as some kind of road kill and we are definitely not shown support by the laws of the land in terms of charges and jail time...It's almost like it's some kind of national sport where the motorist gets the ol "don't worry mate you may get a fine" attitude.

I don't like the term accident, I much prefer collision, and then it needs to be investigated to look at how they arrived at the outcome!(cyclist in hospital) Then you can decide where the blame lays and sling in some charges...

In my most recent collision last Friday I was on a priority road, lights on(AY-UP) 5.15pm and the car comes from my left entering the road I am on when he clearly has a give way sign, and to top it off I am pretty sure he was accelerating until at the last second he saw me...

Until a few motorists are chucked in the cells and there is some media attention nothing will happen sadly..

Comment by heather on March 27, 2011 at 18:48

Steven, I think you are right about some negligent motorists being put in jail, before other motorists learn to look for cyclists and obey the road rules. A few months ago I read of a law introduced in a USA state after a very tardy driver seriously injured a child pedestrian.

The authorities send the message that it is OK to hit and injure cyclists. I have been hit by three negligent drivers, each one leaving me with permanent back injuries. Yet not one was fined. The second one 'did not see me' but then he was not wearing his required glasses (look for S for spectacles on a driver's licence). Then he refused to pay for my bicycle repairs. The third 'professional bus driver' deferred my studies for a semester but my lawyer declined to include the fees in my claim. Out of pocket in other ways eg repeated dental bills because x-rays did not reveal the extent of my injuries.

My injuries are trivial compared with Lisa's.

Some months ago I told BISA that I when I had time, I would start a group on AC to collate info on cyclists' incidents and collisions (and outcomes for negligent drivers). I already coordinate three cycling groups plus still advocating for improvements to Prospect Council Masterplans. I did download info of what authorities record in tables -- a lot.

Lisa and Steven, if you are interested, perhaps we could start a group recording bicycle-vehicle incidents. At some time this could form the basis for lobbying for a better deal for cyclist safety. The State Government has liaised with world road safety expert Prof Fred Wegman to 'drive down the road toll', but I cannot predict how much this will help cyclists.

Comment by Lisa Payne on March 27, 2011 at 20:41

Count me in Heather, I'm am so passionate about cyclist's rights on the road. I have been hit twice in Adelaide and once in Cairns. And I've had enough.

It's wrong that when I tell people I ride they think I'm crazy. No I'm not. I'm getting exercise which in turns leads to less of a drain on the health system through preventable diseases from lack of exercise, less cars on the rd, less polution the list of benefits go on. I see them as crazy for not riding.

The fact that many people are too scared to ride on our roads speaks volumes.

Basically it has to stop cause its crap!

Comment by heather on March 27, 2011 at 20:57
Thanks Lisa. Any suggestions for the name of the group?
Comment by Lisa Payne on March 27, 2011 at 21:07
Fed up? Motorists suck? 2 wheels are better than 4?
Share the road is great, but its not having an impact....
I'll get back 2 u on that one..
Comment by heather on March 27, 2011 at 23:26

Lisa, for legal reasons, Angus will ask that the registration number and driver's name is kept by the cyclist and not made public. Still enough details to indicate negative cycling experiences, compliments of other road users. There is a small number of cyclists who want 'strict liability', as in some European countries, introduced to Australia. That could be a secondary aim while collating enough data. It would be easier to achieve than mandatory jail sentence, as in one US state.

I can suggest a sub-title: cyclists are people. Someone liked that in one of my advocacy presentations.

Comment by Lisa Payne on March 27, 2011 at 23:32
I like that too. motorists don't see us as people but objects or obstacles in their way. And yes, not all motorists are bad,, its the minority, but it does only take 1 to hit you.
Education is so important!
Comment by heather on March 28, 2011 at 0:03
I would not be averse to compulsory jailing of some negligent drivers. For example, a driver who has been drinking, hits a cyclist and leaves the scene (cyclist alive or dead?), where the cyclist is later found dead. There is a non-AC group called Wheels of Justice, who I would leave to deliberate on the more difficult cases. However, we could let them know of an AC group and encourage them to view any data and communicate with us on 'strict liability'.
Comment by MARK FERGUSON (SPARTACUS) on March 28, 2011 at 9:23
That's the spirit, you've got guts girl. I very much look forward to doing many rides with you. You are an inspiration.
Comment by David Bowler on March 28, 2011 at 9:43

Sorry to here about your situation Lisa.  I do worry that it will be me one day and as you point out, the law does not offer cyclists enough protection and more specifically enough of a stick to change motorist behavior along with  appropriate education and publicity.  

As an aside, I have noticed that the Wheels of Justice group Heather mentioned does not seem to have been active lately (or at least their web page hasn't been updated).


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