Monday, 8 February 2010

Suppressing cycling in Queensland

In Queensland, Australia

a study has revealed many drivers consider people riding bicycles to be a nuisance.

The research showed that 64 per cent of respondents believed that cyclists were a road hazard.

And now the Queensland cops are getting tough:

Although helmets have been compulsory for cyclists in Queensland since the early 1990s, police are issuing around 7500 fines a year to bare-headed bike riders.

The offence is by far the most common committed by cyclists on Queensland roads, according to statistics provided by Queensland Transport for 2007 to October 2009.

The list of the "top 12 bicycle offences" shows about 250 cyclists a year are fined for not having operational lights and about 200 are caught running red lights.

Riding while talking on a mobile phone is the fourth-most common offence by cyclists.

Carrying a rider who is not wearing a helmet is another relatively common breach of the law, followed by cyclists found to be riding bikes that are unsafe.

Ben Wilson, from Bicycle Queensland, said it was in a cyclist's own best interests to obey the road rules. "The danger that a bike rider poses to themselves by breaking the road rules is enormous, and that's a huge deterrent the world over," Mr Wilson said.

Ben Wilson’s attitude underlines the way in which cycling campaigners can and often do play an active role in suppressing the growth of mass cycling by demanding that cyclists conform to the rules of a car-centric world.

Ben Wilson is obviously blissfully unaware of conditions in the Netherlands and Denmark (no helmets! people giving other people rides on their bikes! nobody riding through red lights because cyclists get their own lights and get priority!)