Cyclists – Door Openings. Whose Responsibility?

Cyclists – “Door Openings”, Whose responsibility? 

 I have just watched Channel 10 “The Project” where they discussed Cyclists accidents and deaths from “door openings” and I listened during the day on radio to various references to bicycle accidents and abuse.

And I have looked up “Road Laws for Cyclists”.

From a brief view, apart from wearing a helmet (which I did not notice on the site), it appears that all that is necessary for a cyclist is to obey Stop Signs, Stop here on Red Signal/ Arrow, or Give Way sign.

It strikes me that there is no other legislated, or obligatory requirement to ride responsibly, and to obey the everyday laws that Motorists get fined for transgressing.

There is no law nor expectation that a cyclist, travelling in a Cyclists Lane, nor in general traffic, should pass a parked car at a safely reduced speed, or width…if traffic permits.

The law appears to permit a cyclist to travel at full speed in any Cyclist Lane, or elsewhere.

This is absolutely absurd, and contrary to all Duty of Care principles around which the Law, is supposed to be founded.

When a Cyclist Lane is too narrow, or is obstructed, a cyclist has the same duty of care to enter an adjacent lane as has a motorist, i.e. when it is safe so to do.

Cyclists assume the right to enter lanes at will. And no Law stops them.

Get the obligations equal.

It should not need separate legislation, just an equal application of the road laws… with the understanding, that a road speed limit law, does not mean that for either cars or cyclists, it is safe nor applicable to drive at that speed in all conditions, and circumstances.

I frequent a Coffee shop in a suburban strip on a busy road. In the early morning (peak traffic) cyclists speed on the foot-path past the open doors of this and other shops on the strip. The road traffic has been limited to 40kph, however the illegal cyclist (speeding) footpath traffic goes without restriction.

We need to get the emphasis away from the “poor Cyclist”, and revert to sensible Road Laws and Responsibility for all users.

It is great to see and be able to cycle on our roads, but since cycling has become a means of transport rather than leisure, the emphasis has changed to the detriment of all.

If we want to let our children enjoy the freedom that we had, we need to make it safe, and equitable for all.

david@massey500.com