Take responsibility, ride responsibly.
I fully agree with the letter from Kathy Head in OBA 42 (The road-sharing code). I guess that one of the problems is that we are taught to drive to a set of legal requirements and a minimum level of operator skill but all too soon meeting the legal requirements gives way to what I think must be carelessness or some sort of individual risk assessment. In the case of carelessness the use of indicators, particularly when overtaking is a common example, how many times do you see a rider or driver carryout an overtaking manoeuvre with just one or maybe two flashes of the indicator as they start to overtake. In the case of an individual risk assessment speeding must be the most common example, if risk is a combination of likelihood and consequence then the individual risk assessment carried out, albeit subconsciously, is probably, “am I likely to get caught and what are the consequences if I do?” Judging by the number of riders/drivers I see breaking the whole range of speed limits, the answers in most cases must be “no” and “inconsequential”. However if the risk assessment is considered from the point of view “what is the likelihood of me having an accident?” and “what are the consequences if I do?”, the answers might be “more likely than if I was travelling at the speed limit”, depending on how much over the speed limit and “a more serious accident than if I was travelling at the speed limit”, depending on how much over the speed limit. Of course these likelihoods and consequences will vary depending on how much over the speed limit we are travelling, road and traffic conditions. There are also possibly a host of other factors which we cannot assess, maybe that’s why our operator skill level tells us we can do it and our road sense is being overridden or maybe just isn’t sufficiently developed. To the words of Kathy Head “Look after those smaller than you, and look out for those bigger than you” I would add “Look after yourselves”. Mike Field Hornsby, NSW