Cyclist calls for cultural shift to save lives

ROAD SAFE: Cyclist John Fitter wants road rules known, obeyed and enforced. He has a camera mounted to his bike helmet for safety. File photo.
ROAD SAFE: Cyclist John Fitter wants road rules known, obeyed and enforced. He has a camera mounted to his bike helmet for safety. File photo. Warren Lynam

AN experienced cyclist who has been struck and lived to tell the tales has demanded a "culture of safety" on Australian roads.

John Fitter, of Flaxton, has been hit by cars and seen mates hit by cars.

Mr Fitter said many drivers were ignorant or belligerent when it came to road rules and police seemed reluctant to enforce them when it came to cyclists' safety.

He said police told him they did not lay charges when he was hit from behind by a motorist trying to park because despite witness statements, there was supposedly not enough evidence and the motorist might sue.

Mr Fitter said the occupants of an unmarked police car stopped and asked a cyclist at Caloundra if he was all right when he was hit by a car but failed to follow the offending vehicle.

He said although he had presented police with video evidence of a cyclist being assaulted and a car then being driven at himself, no charges were laid because the officer was transferred.

Another cyclist told the Daily that charges still had not been laid after he was allegedly assault by a motorist who had driven so close to his bike that he could touch the car.

He said police had told him that a combination of night shifts and difficulties contacting the driver were delaying the investigation.

Mr Fitter said Australian motorists lagged behind the English in terms of consideration for cyclists and blamed it on "bogans".

"The worst are the utes. I'll drive down for a training ride at 4.30am and I can sit there at a green light and watch a bogan car go straight through a red light every week."

Mr Fitter said policing priorities had to move beyond speed cameras and radars, and road users had to make it their duty to know the road rules and drive with the safety of others in mind or health young Australians would continue to die while participating in a healthy activity.

"We need to get together and start thinking about safety culture. We can't keep killing our teenagers on the roads," he said.

Topics:  bogan car charged charges cyclist cyclists driver drivers editors picks motorists police utes

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