Sunday, January 23, 2005

Dangerous Cycling

With all the recent discussion about the perils of driving as an inexperienced youngster, something which gets lost in the noise is the danger in which cyclists place pedestrians. I have blogged on this before, however it is something which causes me great alarm.

This morning, at the corner of Swanston and Lonsdale Streets, in Melbourne's CBD, I was waiting for my tram, which had come to a stop. I stepped out onto the road, which at that time of the morning is closed to motor traffic, apart from emergency services, trams, couriers, taxis etc. However, it is not closed to cyclists, even though they are deemed motor vehicles.

As I stepped out, a girl on a bike rode straight through the group of pedestrians in which I was standing, without making a noise to alert us, or better still, getting off her bike and walking it. Now, I understand bikes don't travel at high speed. However, given they are deemed as motor vehicles, why do they persist in running red lights, or riding through tram stops when a tram is stopped?

It is time cyclists were made aware that they are not the only ones endangered by their presence on the roads. Yes, they are endangered by cars. However, they create similar danger to pedestrains, who are entitled to expect that they behave according to rules applicable to motor cars. How about some public education for these riders, who obviously have no idea of how they are meant to behave?


Blogger geoave said...

slight difference-- bikes are vehicles, not "motor vehicles". The potential 10 fold difference in speed between pedestrains and bikes clearly indicates the case. Interesting things start to percolate when comparing in-line skates, bikes, and peds. In-line skaters about about 2 to 4 times faster than peds, but still 2 to 4 times slower than bikes. They also require about 3 times the draft (horizontal space) as a bike (6 feet to 2 feet). So, do in-line skates become a vehicle (New York State law), or stay on the sidewalk?

1:54 pm  

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