Tuesday, 15 March 2016

They changed the law

with respect to bicycle riders some three months ago - and it seems some people still have not managed to learn.
There was a piece in this morning's paper with some complaints about the way in which some drivers are still not respecting the rights of other road users. It mentioned the way in which similar laws in another state have, over time, simply been forgotten or ignored by drivers of cars.
Now, I don't wish to suggest that bicycle riders are blameless. They are not. Some of them do some very stupid things. Others however are sensible and responsible but they are still being abused.
The law says bicycle riders may ride on the roads. (There are some rare exceptions. Don't come hurtling down the freeways if you are bicycle rider.) It also says they may now ride on the footpaths - providing that they take due care of pedestrians etc. 
It is all commonsense - or it should be. 
I am doing the trip down to the closest hospital at present. It is where the Senior Cat is in the rehabilitation unit. Going down is fine as there is distinct slope. I scarcely need to pedal. There are good reasons to use the road. It is normally not very busy although the point at which it crosses the bus route needs to be watched. The surface is good. There is also the issue that the suburb I need to travel through is laid out in a unique and rather peculiar fashion. It makes riding on the footpaths rather difficult. Quite apart from having to watch for cars coming out of driveways and people shooting out from the side streets there are other obstacles to free cycling.
The same of course applies in reverse. But...but...but coming home I am pedalling UP hill and that means I am rather slower. I keep as far to the left (remember my North American friends we drive on the  opposite side of the road) as I can. At times I am almost in the gutter. I do need to weave my way around parked cars. When that happens I will look behind me and wait for a car to pass if necessary.
Yesterday however your cat nearly got killed by someone who was travelling far too fast. There were four cars parked together. One on one side and three on the other. I was on the same side as three. There was nothing behind me when I started to pass and then, swinging out of the side street at speed came a white van. It passed me close enough to touch. The driver used his horn and sped on up the road. 
He left me with the front wheel against the door of the car next to me. There was someone sitting in the car using his phone. He wound the window down and looked at me.
       "You okay?"
       "I think so."
       "Yeah, well watch it then."
I pedalled off slowly. 
Where's a cop car when you need it though?


southern gal said...

Oh dear. Do you wear a reflective vest? I know they are not fashionable but perhaps it would make you stand out more...

Drivers are horrid and mainly rude. I am constantly having to glare down cars as they approach a crosswalk that I AM ALREAY in sometimes in the middle of the crosswalk and they want to drive right thru... Sigh. They do not stop as is the law. They creep up as I walk across on purpose slowly ... Sigh. - this is in a little village where the only traffic is from the train and to the train ... And these drivers are those.. Either going or coming back... And always so important and in such a hurry.

So glad you were not hit due to your sharp senses!

Allison said...

I'm so angry, I'm sputtering. And so, so glad you survived the onslaught of idiots.