Take re­spon­si­bil­ity, ride re­spon­si­bly.

Old Bike Australasia - - BLOW YOUR OWN -

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

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