Cars don’t know ride from wrong

EX­CLU­SIVE: Fed-up cy­clists want po­lice to throw the book at dan­ger­ous driv­ers FINES IS­SUED:

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - JACK MCKAY

COUN­CIL RE­PORTER CY­CLISTS have called on po­lice to do more to crack down on dodgy driv­ers amid new fig­ures that show less than one mo­torist ev­ery week is fined for breach­ing safe pass­ing laws.

The Sun­day Mail can re­veal only 39 mo­torists were slapped with fines last year for trav­el­ling too close to cy­clists – down from 51 the pre­vi­ous year.

The state’s peak cy­cling group, Bi­cy­cle Queens­land, says the preva­lence of sideswipe col­li­sions needs to be ur­gently ad­dressed.

Bi­cy­cle Queens­land chief ex­ec­u­tive Anne Sav­age said a clear sig­nal must be sent to dan­ger­ous driv­ers by po­lice adopt­ing a zero-tol­er­ance ap­proach to those who reck­lessly over­take cy­clists.

“The rig­or­ous en­force­ment of these laws has largely been over­looked since their in­tro­duc­tion in 2016, re­flect­ing a se­ri­ous fail­ure by re­spon­si­ble au­thor­i­ties to make our roads safe for peo­ple who help to re­duce traf­fic con­ges­tion and save the com­mu­nity costs by rid­ing bikes,” she said.

“It’s sim­ply not good enough. We need a crack­down on driv­ers who break safe pass­ing laws.”

In Queens­land, it is il­le­gal for mo­torists to come within 1m of a cy­clist while pass­ing at speeds of up to 60km/h or to come within 1.5m while trav­el­ling above 60km/h.

The law was tri­alled in 2014 be­fore be­ing per­ma­nently im­ple­mented in 2016.

In the first six months of this year, 29 mo­torists were is­sued with the $391 fine for the of­fence and re­ceived three de­merit points.

Ms Sav­age claims up to 90 per cent of cy­clists felt un­safe on the road due to mo­torists un­safely or il­le­gally over­tak­ing them.

“For too long we have al­lowed a cul­ture of com­pla­cency and in­dif­fer­ence while our friends and loved ones are trag­i­cally in­jured and killed,” she said.

A po­lice spokes­woman said it was some­times more ap­pro­pri­ate to in­sti­gate pro­ceed­ings against mo­torists for a more se­ri­ous of­fence, such as dan­ger­ous driv­ing or driv­ing with­out due care.

“The onus as with any of­fence re­mains with the pros­e­cu­tion to prove each and ev­ery el­e­ment of the of­fence beyond a rea­son­able doubt,” she said. “Each and ev­ery of­fence needs to be con­sid­ered on the ev­i­dence sup­port­ing the case.”

Cy­clist Sheree Hughes said it was dis­ap­point­ing that mo­torists con­tin­ued to ig­nore the rules and make it dan­ger­ous to ride on the road.

“For the most part, mo­torists are pretty good but you get those out­liers that make cy­cling dan­ger­ous,” she said.

“On Fri­day, we had a close shave on Corona­tion Drive and had to re­port it to po­lice.

“These close shaves are putting peo­ple off from cy­cling al­to­gether.

“I think there needs to be more ed­u­ca­tion about what driv­ers can and can’t do.” DAN­GER ZONE: Cy­clist Sheree Hughes says mo­torists are pass­ing too closely on Bris­bane roads. Pic­ture: John Gass


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