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Cyclist fights back, videos close calls on WA roads

reads the headline on the PerthNow website blog posting.  Perth Now is the online space for the Sunday Times newspaper in Western Australia.  The cyclist in question is yours truly and I was interviewed as a part of a broader coverage of freeway extensions and a call by the peak cycling bodies including the Bicycle Transportation Alliance in Western Australia for safe passing laws.

The Sunday Times in their March 4, 2012 edition on page 8 also ran another photo and shorter story  but I only have the full Perth Now copy here.  My aim in agreeing to this was to raise awareness of road safety and that cyclists are are legitmate road users who also should be treated with care and respect. Sure cyclists break rules, but please does that make it okay to run them off the road? To seriously injure them? To kill them?

It is time we understood that cyclists pose a very significantly reduced road safety risk compared to motorised vehicles. How many cyclists kill motorists? Kill pedestrians? Kill other cyclists? Now take a look at what happens when people get behind the wheel of motorised vehicles? Where is the risk? Where is the very significant risk?

I just cannot understand the thinking that because cyclists (which includes children) should pay registration as that will somehow makes things even. Registration does not stop motorists killing others; registration is not going to make matters “fair” and it sure does pay for roads.  For sure properly police cyclist behaviour, but lets not loose sight of where the real danger on our roads lies … with the motorist.

It is time for all to start sharing the road fairly and with respect.

I also support the campaign by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance for a safe passing distance; I just hope the RAC gets on board.

The article from Perth Now is reproduced below:

CYCLISTS are turning to spy cameras to nab reckless and abusive drivers behaving badly on our roads.

Andrew Priest, who cycles from Fremantle to Joondalup every day, decided to fit a keyring-sized camera to his handle bars 18 months ago after several near misses.

Since then, he said two people had been charged with driving offences on the back of video footage captured on the camera.

“I had a lot of close passes and people pretending not to see me and cutting me off, or abusing me,” he said.

“It’s just insurance more than anything and also to change drivers’ behaviours, to make them aware that they are accountable for what they do when they’re around cyclists.”

The tiny cameras are now a must-have in the Perth cycling community, following a spate of collisions.

 Mr Priest, 52, said the cameras could be purchased off eBay for as little as $50.

“It’s not a good thing, it would be nice if we all just got on well and shared the road and de-stressed when we’re driving,” he said.

“But if you’re a regular commuter it’s definitely worth it.”

Mr Priest has been posting his videos to youtube.

This video, recorded by a helmet-mounted camera, resulted in the driver being fined.

Meanwhile, this video captures a motorist cutting Mr Priest off. He was fined as well.

 

On Sunday March 4, 2012 Channel 10 ran a news story on the same topic which included two of my videos. For those interested a video of the story can be found below.

8 Responses to Cyclist fights back, videos close calls on WA roads

  1. Cyclesnail March 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM #

    I was told that this morning another cyclist got run over by a car travelling in the same direction, aparently not very serious injuries.

    The issue will stay with us until we not only get the legal framework in place, but also achieve a shift in attitudes…..

    • Aushiker March 6, 2012 at 1:07 PM #

      That is really bad news :( Do you have more details?

      I agree we need education. change in laws and a change in attitudes. We can but only fight for these outcomes.

  2. Greg March 6, 2012 at 11:22 AM #

    That all bicycles should be registered is a complete furphy. Some thoughts on this:
    – you don’t have to sit a test about the road rules to register your vehicle, the test is associated with your drivers license.
    – having a drivers licence does not ensure either knowledge of the law or compliance with the law.
    – every person I know who cycles has a drivers licence anyway.
    – vehicle registration does not pay for roads.
    – most cyclists I know pay registration because they have a registered vehicle.
    – having compulsory vehicle registration does not ensure knowledge of the law or compliance with the law.
    – another road user breaking the law is not justification for you breaking the law.

    You could apply the same principles to pedestrians: every day pedestrians break the law by running red lights and crossing the road illegally. Because pedestrians can’t be identified, compliance with the road rules is very difficult to police. Therefore all pedestrians should be registered and it should be compulsory to wear ‘number plates’ when using roads (hey, they could be cloth right?). It’s ridiculous isn’t it? You could argue that pedestrians are not vehicles so I will counter argue that roller skates, roller blades and skate boards are vehicles and should be registered in case their ‘drivers’ break the law.

    • Aushiker March 6, 2012 at 1:09 PM #

      Well said Greg. I nearly brought up the pedestrian registration argument with a YouTube commentator but decided it was not worth the trouble :)

  3. Marty March 6, 2012 at 1:44 PM #

    Great result Andrew. I note that you could hear you calling out the vehicle rego at the end of the video. Was this a precaution in case it wasnt captured on film, and do you know if the Police would act upon it if you didnt have a photo of the plate? It can sometimes be difficult to get a clear image.

    • Aushiker March 6, 2012 at 7:13 PM #

      Thanks Marty. Yes I call out the registration number to cover the possibility I don’t get in on the video or it is not clear.

      I have had the police follow-up reports without video evidence and hence just relying on my statement. A sworn statement can stand-up in court. We don’t always have video evidence.

  4. Karl March 14, 2012 at 7:42 PM #

    Sad to see some of those comments. I know there’s plenty of angry keyboard warriors out there, but it still shocks me to read how backwards and ignorant some people are.

    • Aushiker March 15, 2012 at 8:29 AM #

      I no longer read the comments on the likes of PerthNow for the very reasons you mention. It is a sad reflection of our society or where it is heading it seems.

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