Motorists should change attitudes

I have been a keen cyclist for many years in the UK but have decided, despite the excellent quality of the surrounding roads and the near-perfect conditions, to give up road cycling.

I have been the victim of careless, dangerous and selfish motorists who believe they ‘own’ the road.

I do not suggest for one minute that cyclists are perfect; there are many who completely ignore road rules and are a danger to themselves and others.

These are often people who use the cycle path; cycle the wrong way down roads and swerve across lanes or cross roads without looking or signalling.

However, it appears that many victims are people such as myself who I would consider to have a ‘professional’ attitude and follow the road rules.

Cyclists have as much right to share the road as other vehicles and be treated with respect.

Contrary to popular opinion, paying ‘rego’ does not give motorists preferential treatment. Roads are paid for through taxes and the odds are that cyclists own a car and pay ‘rego’ too.

Motorists in WA need a change in attitude to driving in general. Motoring is not a ‘competitive sport’ as seems to be the mind set. It is also not something to do when tired or while distracted.

This means paying attention and being courteous to all road users.

If the Government wants to encourage bike use (which incidentally reduces congestion and helps motorists in the long run), education and public awareness are key.

Police need to be targeting bad driving rather than simply focusing on gathering revenue from people on roads where driving at 106km/h in a 100km/h zone is really not an issue.

The traffic policing priorities are all wrong. Draconian and petty ‘speed policing’ does not protect the road users who need it most, cyclists and pedestrians.

Ask the people of The Netherlands and Germany, who manage to combine fast, safe motoring with cyclists in mind and the driver attitude and training to match.