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Two incidents remind me that road safety and ettiquette cuts both ways

veloneil's picture

By veloneil - Posted on 27 January 2014

On Saturday 25th January, there were two separate incidents involving a NSCC bunch and heavy vehicles. The first was a local bus overtaking the bunch across double lines in a reckless and unnecessary manner, not once but twice. The second and more serious, was road rage from an impatient truck driver aggrieved that he had missed a red light! Further down Mona Vale Road, the same truck driver swerved at the bunch in a very dangerous manner.

I know in the past we have all witnessed many similar incidents. As club president, I felt a duty to raise both incidents with the respective companies. Formal letters have been sent explaining our position on each matter. I also understand that disciplinary steps will be taken in relation to the truck driver in the second incident.

Taking the step to inform both organisations was made possible as the company names were clearly displayed on the vehicles for all to see. Indeed, many responsible road freight companies invite comments from the public on the conduct of their drivers and provide a phone number to contact.

So that got me thinking about an old saying ... "Those in glass houses should not through stones".

In other words, cyclists including NSCC, also have their conduct on display. Our kit is highly visible and with 300 members, we are well known. That means we always need to be careful about what is happening around the bunch ride, be sure about how we are communicating instructions safely and clearly, be predictable when sharing the same space as cars (not just as a lone rider but as a bunch), and obeying traffic rules, signs and red lights.

I believe NSCC does the right thing but it only takes one incident to create an adverse public perception of us!

Cyclists will always make a good deal of noise about safety and etiquette. When cyclist hits a car, the car gets scratched, but when a car hits a cyclist, the damage is more serous and long lasting.

So, as and when we might take steps to voice our concern about driver conduct, we need to make sure we do things right.

Every NSCC member is unique and irreplaceable and we have to stay safe.

Best Mountain Bike