Michele Nugent of the Weekend Courier has reported on an incident involving Safety Bay grandmother Kaye Tonzing who was riding her bicycle on Safety Bay road when she was hit by a nine-tonne truck. There is further discussion of this incident in the Australian Cycling Forums.
Sadly once again this incident reflects an intolerance towards each other; this time with potentially very serious consequences.
The full article can be found in the Weekend Courier, an extract follows. If you ride in the Safety Bay area please be real careful and look out for a white nine-tonne truck.
The 66-year-old has called on motorists to drop their “ludicrous attitude” towards cyclists after a nine-tonne truck hit her, knocking her off her bicycle into the path of traffic about 5.45am on February 12 as she completed her weekly 40km recreational cycle.
Mrs Tonzing was negotiating the first roundabout on the east-bound Safety Bay Road overpass over Ennis Avenue when, despite being as far left as possible, she was hit by the rear of the white, unmarked truck causing her to hit the tarmac heavily, destroying her helmet.
Suffering a broken shoulder and extensive bruising and tissue damage to her chest and right thigh, she is unable to drive or cycle for several weeks.
“There is no path on that part of the road so I had no alternative but to ride on the shoulder. The problem with paths is that you have to ride on roads to get to them,” Mrs Tonzing said.
“I knew the truck was close when its cab came past and the mirror was 15 inches off my shoulder. I had the gutter on my left but he just kept coming.”
Mrs Tonzing, who has cycled at least weekly for much of her life, said most motorists were good, but many had a vendetta against cyclists, believing they should not be on the road.
Two motorists stopped to help Mrs Tonzing off the road and, believing she was all right, left her to call a friend who took her to hospital. She reported the incident to police.
“I am still angry and annoyed that drivers have so much animosity towards cyclists. I ride because I like to stay healthy, I don’t want to burden the taxpayer with my health issues,” she said. “Ironically, this truck driver has caused me to become a burden anyway. There needs to be more education so motorists learn to share the road.”
Despite the frightening incident, Mrs Tonzing said she couldn’t wait to get back on her bike.