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Byron Shire
May 22, 2024

Motorists drive lethal weapons

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I completely agree with Pagan Morgan, there are some cyclists doing stupid stuff and reckless speed on footpaths, endangering pedestrians is completely out of order, followed closely by night riding without lights in dark clothing. I’d also like to thank Pagan for demonstrating one point I was trying to make.

For every stupid piece of cyclist behaviour, and even the not so stupid, there are plenty of motorists eager to write letters about them. Indeed the last time a cyclist was hit by a car in this shire the first thing we saw was letters from people with no idea what happened basically blaming the cyclist or, at the very least, offering potential excuses for the motorist. Some motorists have a pathological, dangerous and potentially lethal, dislike and impatience of bicycles.

We don’t get letters from cyclists about stupid, dangerous, potentially lethal, behaviour by motorists because there are far too many, we experience several every day. For instance, yesterday. I’m not slow for a bike and I’m extremely visible and yet, in the first 5km of a 30km ride, three cars overtook me in the oncoming lane, 2 on the approach to a blind bend the other a blind crest. Anything coming the other way would have resulted in a head-on collision and, had that happened, it wouldn’t surprise me if those dangerously impatient drivers blamed the cyclist. That was only the first 5km, plenty more on that journey and on the way home. We don’t write letters about these incidents because there are far too many, every day.

My second point: Overwhelmingly cyclists, even the ones without helmets on the wrong side of the road, are fully aware that, in a collision between them and a two tonne steel box, they will probably come second, perhaps fatally so. Motorists need have no fear since the consequences for them are a couple of dents and scratches in the duco of their two tonne steel boxes. Motorists with a potentially lethal, dislike and impatience of bicycles need to take a look at themselves.

Cyclists rarely, if ever, kill motorists. Motorists do, however, kill cyclists. A sense of proportion would be a fine thing.

Robin Harrison, Binna Burra


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