8th February 2010
AS MORE cyclists hit our busy roads 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.
Ipswich cyclist Troy Dobinson said it was the responsibility of motorists to look out for cyclists.
“If cyclists didn’t have to ride on the roads, they wouldn’t be a hazard,” he said.
“Most of the cyclists who are training, they’ll be out at five in the morning to avoid the traffic.”
More and more cyclists were hitting the city’s roads, which were becoming more congested, Mr Dobinson said.
“It’s the way of the future because there’s more people in the world,” he said.
“Everyone should ride a bike, for health and wellbeing.”
Close to half (40 per cent) of Queenslanders participating in insurance company AAMI’s research owned a bicycle and a quarter (27 per cent) used their bike to commute.
AAMI spokesman Mike Sopinski said nearly nine-in-ten thought Queensland roads were not safe for cyclists.
“Many of the responses we received highlight that motorists tend to see cyclists as a nuisance and are not always willing to share the road,” he said.
“Criticism of cyclist behaviour is also common, with many (78 per cent) claiming to have seen cyclists break road rules and ride dangerously.
“Despite these attitudes and comments, we are seeing evidence that the larger community supports the more widespread use of bicycles as a mode of transport, particularly as riding to work is often a lifestyle choice in line with our growing awareness of health and environmental factors.”
The vast majority of respondents to AAMI’s survey would like to see better facilities for cyclists.
Ipswich Bicycle Users’ Group convenor John Lubke doesn’t agree with the percentages in the report.
“The key to the issue as I see it is education and infrastructure,” he said.
“There are documented rules that cyclists must abide by in using our roads. Both motorists and cyclists should be aware of these if they are expected to use the same roadways.
“The easiest and least expensive way is with education. It would have to be part of a licensing requirement to make it effective.”