Mr Frank Granger of Applecross is known in some cycling circles in Perth as a “serial letter writer” with a dislike for people riding bicycles. This letter in the Fremantle Gazette of November 14, 2017 and also in the Fremantle Herald of November 18, 2017 is one such example of his writing.
THERE has been a lot of discussion about cyclists on the road. It is my opinion that not all cyclists should be allowed on the road. There should be a minimum age for a person to ride on the road. Cyclists should not be on the road until an hour after daylight to an hour before dark, no matter whether they have lights on their bike or not. Some busy roads, particularly those with trucks or heavy traffic, should not allow cyclists at all. Most road accidents involving a cyclist and a motor vehicle usually happen early morning or late afternoon. Local councils spend thousands of dollars building excellent bike paths to keep cyclists safe. It all gets down to common sense.
In light of the “Our Opinion” piece in the previous week’s edition of the Fremantle Gazette by the Community Newspaper’s Regional Editor, Ms Denise S. Cahill I felt Mr Granger’s comments should be challenged and so I did as he does and wrote to the editor of the Fremantle Gazette and the Fremantle Herald.
The Fremantle Gazette [a News Corporation masthead] did not see fit to published my reply in the November 21, 2017 edition, instead putting space aside for more of Ms Cahill’s opinion and you guessed it, another letter from Mr Frank Granger of Applecross. At least cyclist’s where spared his ignorance this week.
In contrast the Fremantle Herald kindly published my letter in full with the headline “Spinning a Yarn” and as the lead letter so a big thank you to Mr Andrew Smith, Editor of the Fremantle Herald.
For the record my letter to the editor of the Fremantle Gazette and the Fremantle Herald is below.
I am writing in reply to Mr Frank Granger, “Cycle Curfew”, Fremantle Gazette, November 14, 2017.
The writer’s claim that most accidents [actually crashes not accidents] usually happen early morning or late afternoon caught my attention so I did a fact check. Referring to the Australian Roads Death Database, 252 cyclist fatalities are listed for the period 2011-2017. Assuming for the simplicity sake the hours of daylight are between 7:00 AM and 6:00 PM, I note that 70 deaths occurred during the hours of darkness and 182 during daylight hours. Whoops, it seems that most crashes actually occur during the day.
Of greater concern however is that during that same period there were 8,412 deaths on our roads of which 253 where cyclists. It seems to me Mr Granger needs to rethink his priorities and to reflect on where the real issue lies. We can of course then go into the data analysis [well published] showing where the highest risk is to bicycle riders and that is I am afraid the motorist [~80% of bicycle rider fatalities are the fault of motorists].
So, no Mr Granger your curfew is not a solution. I suggest rather that you might want to start with respecting all road users, irrespective of their choice of transport. After all it comes down to common sense, care and courtesy.