Give mo­torists a break

CY­CLING LAWS

Mercury (Hobart) - - FOOTY FEVER - Sue Henn Ta­roona HAZ­ARD: Safety wor­ries. Fiona Mitchell Clare­mont Ian Batch­e­lor Mar­gate Michael Ward­law Rosetta An­drew John Clark Ket­ter­ing Mary Crowe Howrah Frank Nick­la­son North Ho­bart Sue Bell Lind­is­farne Tim Peters Ris­don Vale

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.

Road hogs

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.

Dan­ger­ous gap

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.

Board­walk so­lu­tion

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.

Hear, hear

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.

Onya Don

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.

Con­de­scend­ing

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 …

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