Give motorists a break
I AM all for ensuring safety for all road users but the new laws allowing for fining of motorists passing within one or oneand-a-half metres of a cyclist are just another indicator of a rationale that holds motorists responsible for all accidents while exonerating road planners and cyclists from fault. Most Tasmanian roads are so narrow that passing a cyclist already requires going over the centre line and urban and suburban cycle lanes have made them even narrower and more hazardous to negotiate.
Lower Sandy Bay Rd is an example of shocking road design, with sections so unnecessarily narrow for motor vehicles as to be dangerous for all road users. Throw a small but strident cadre of velodrome cyclists (the ones who believe the road is their racetrack and like to ride in pelotons) into the mix and we have a recipe for potential accidents. More signage telling cyclists to keep their handlebars within the cycle lanes, mandatory road law and safety training and the introduction of cyclist identification for cyclists over the age of 18 would be proactive ways for the Tasmanian Government and councils to really improve safety issues for all road, and pavement, users.
SORRY, I thought I saw a story saying motorists would henceforth be fined $159 for passing a cyclist with less than one metre clearance. Is it April 1 again already? When do motorists get the chance to pass these unlicensed, unregistered and uninsured road hogs? Even on Campbell St, with its clearly defined cycling lane, there are persistent cyclists blocking the flow of traffic by travelling on the opposite side. The side roads near Bonnet Hill are worse. When I was taught to drive, it was drummed into me that slow-moving vehicles should pull over to the left to allow those capable of travelling at the speed limit to do so. Such is not the case for the ignoramus cyclist too rude and precious to move over or pause for the few seconds it would have taken four cars to pass.
I’m all for increasing the safety of all road users, but it’s way past due for all road users to pay their way, hold compulsory third party insurance, obey the road laws, and show some basic good manners and courtesy.
Rules for all
RENE Hidding is obviously looking for votes from bike riders. I have ridden a bike and also drive a car and I have seen first hand what some riders will do to make life difficult for car drivers. How about laws to say they have to ride single file, use a bike A new way to have your say themercury.com.au readers have a new way to have their say. It’s free to use, just register and have your say. For more details and to register, visit the website. lane when provided and wear highly visible clothing. Laws should be applied equally both to drivers and cyclists.
I WOULD like see how Mr Hidding is going to collect fines from the dead. These new or brought forward bike laws are really beyond belief. If a cyclist rides on an unmarked highway i.e. no reserved bike lane, he is out at a safe riding distance from the kerb say 1 metre, the motorist must pass at a distance of 1.5m in an average car, which is approximately 2.1m. Then with a vehicle coming towards us passing another cyclist but in a four-wheel drive monster at 2.4m wide, plus the 1.5m away from a cyclist who is 1m out from kerb, totals about 9m. Now with a bit of ducking and weaving, as the “desired traffic lane” width in Tasmania is a huge 3.5 to 4m, I would not like to see the result when this occurs.
MAY I suggest your reader (Letters, September 27) lobby the university to fund the much-needed boardwalk from Marieville Esplanade to the CSIRO around the Battery Point foreshore if, as stated, it’s too dangerous now they have moved into the new uni accommodation facility in the city to cycle to the Sandy Bay campus. This wouldn’t only be safer for those student cyclists, but better for vehicle traffic on Sandy Bay Rd.
WELL said, Saul Eslake ( Mercury, September 27) and well done to all the grandparents, foster parents, adopting parents and friends and relatives who lovingly care for their non-biological children.
Their own decision
AN argument that has been advanced against legal recognition of same-sex marriage is that it panders to a small minority and to political correctness. An alternative view is that gay couples who wish to commit to marriage are part of the great majority of people who simply wish to be treated with respect, valued and to make their own choices.
CONGRATULATIONS once again to Don Knowler (Talking Point, September 29) for standing up for our mountain. So much more unique in the Western world than a mountain with a cable car up the side.
ACCORDING to academics, if you have or are intending to vote No, you’re dumb. I’m going to need a thesaurus to describe to everyone that this sounds smug, condescending, arrogant, conceited, pompous, superior, priggish, egotistical, vainglorious, supercilious, peremptory …