I normally refrain from complaining about bicycle riders here in Perth – I recognise that they have an equal right to space on the public road and deserve our special consideration and care when they are out there. After all, they are largely unprotected from the motorised road vehicles.
To this end – protection – our state government requires them to wear bike helmets. It also constructs especial bike paths in some suburbs and designates other footpaths as dual-use routes so that they can be off the main roads. In some cases it winks an eye to their use of regular footpaths. All well and good.
But what to do when the cyclist simply does not obey the road rules set out for all of us – or worse; fails to obey the dictates of common sense for their own safety?
I regularly see schools of riders using the bike paths or the bike lanes in a very safe and sensible manner. And just as regularly see individuals ignore all sense of law, order, or self-preservation.
This morning I pulled up to a Tee-junction at a major road and commenced my wait for a clear space in the traffic stream to join the road. The bike rider who pedalled up at the same time just launched out into the path of a Hyundai 4WD with no stopping. The Hyundai driver braked hard and the fool sailed on. The irony of the situation where an unprotected sack of meat jousts with a tonne and a half of steel and iron under the command of a small Asian was not lost on me…but the rider never even waved or wobbled.
I daresay it has happened before, and will happen again. I can only hope that when the inevitable occurs that there are witnesses to exonerate the driver. Had today’s event been different by one second…a terrifying second…I would have been giving evidence in a Coroner’s court. And the evidence would have been on the behalf of the Hyundai driver.