Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Australian driving kills Australian cyclists

(Images: Sydney Morning Herald, May 21 2013)

Why is it so hard for Australian motorists to share the road with vulnerable road users?

Whatever happened to 'patience' and 'brakes'?

Do Australian motorists see cyclists as 'mere obstacles'?

Why is it you can be convicted for cycling without wearing a helmet but not for driving over & killing a cyclist?

Will Australia ever 'get' cycling?

...this is us, this is us now - shame on us all


  1. I guess that could be applied to a number of English speaking countries.

  2. Maybe, but Australia is a standout in aggressive driving and complete disregard of cyclists

  3. We also have this problem in the UK:

  4. I'm not sure Australia will ever "get" cycling, because the anti-cycling sentiment seems to come from some deep, irrational, reptilian place deep in the back of the brain which is completely impervious to any sort of rational argument or empathy. Anyone who has been rounded upon out on the street and subjected to a tirade by one of these nut jobs can tell you that it comes from a deep well of hatred, and that the anger felt is out of all proportion to any inconvenience caused by the rider.

    There's an element of cognitive dissonance to it. Motorists continue to trot out the argument, for instance, that cyclists should have fewer rights because they don't pay registration and therefore don't contribute to the costs of building and maintaining roads. Any number of people have pointed out that this isn't the case, but the view persists. This is because the cycling-hatred has got nothing to do with actuality. Like any human prejudice it is feel the hate first, rationalise it second.

    At heart, it is not even about cycling at all. It is about difference. Australians are great conformists. Their great ambition in life is to be just like everyone else. If everyone else rode bikes and the minority drove cars, their hatred and bile would be directed at motorists.

    Our only hope for proper, safe cycling conditions is for some courageous leader or leaders to step forward and say that they don't give a shit about the dumb prejudices of the bogans, that safe cycling is an undeniably good thing for our society, and to plow ahead with building the infrastructure to enable it despite the whingeing and moaning from the car-loving, bike-hating blockheads. But this is Australia. We don't really breed leaders like tgat.

  5. Scott, that is one of the most insightful observations I have read of late concerning why Australians hate cyclists (or even identify them in the first place as "cyclists") It goes with a description I read recently of modern Australia as a nation of rugged conformists.
    I sometimes wonder if the reason they never got MHLs in England (which shares many of our bizarre anti-minority prejudices and tunnel vision approaches to health and safety) is that you still find a tradition of free thinking and dissent not only in academia, but also in public discourse. This appears to me to have been systematically destroyed in Australia.