Posted on behalf of Sam Powrie
Letter to Adelaide Advertiser, 16/12/05. Adelaide cyclists might consider writing in with their own stories! Sam Powrie, BISA.
Is Adelaide really Australia’s ‘Cycling City’? Is it indeed a worthy host for Australia’s ‘Tour Down Under’? On Wednesday evening a colleague was attacked while cycling home on Prospect Road.
A laughing mob of hoons pulled alongside, threw a lump of wood at him and then sped off. He was knocked down at high speed, hit a parked car and suffered significant head trauma and shoulder fractures amongst other injuries. He could well have been killed! He is left with weeks off work and months away from his bike.
Earlier this year rock-throwers nearly killed car driver Damian de Wit on the Southern Expressway. After the culprits were caught we might have suspected a lesson had been learned. But it looks like the thugs are out there again, now attacking vulnerable road users. Throwing objects at cyclists is illegal under the Summary Offences Act yet anecdotal evidence within the cycling community suggests that it is a common occurrence.
Many cyclists have contacted me today with such stories and I note a recent anti-cycling letter from a reader declaring ‘We’re bigger than you, so get out of our way’. I appeal to all Adelaide road users to recognise that people on their bikes should not be ‘targets’ for either objects or motor vehicles!
Cyclists are the same and you or I. Over 70% of adult cyclists are car drivers. They are mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters and many of them are our children. They are simply travelling by ‘human power’, something that many more of us may soon have to consider!
Why should they face risk of injury or death at the hand of others simply due to their choice of transport? I remind Adelaide that the Tour Down-Under starts in 3 weeks away. As Chair of South Australia’s community cycling organisation I challenge our Premier and Politicians to stand up and be counted in support of S.A’s right to cycle on our roads in safety! I want to see our `hoon legislation’ covering this sort of behaviour and for such drivers to understand what is at risk.
Think what will happen to Adelaide’s image and reputation if an international racer is hit and killed by one of these idiots! All cyclists – local commuters as well as visiting professionals – must be assured they will be safe from such behaviour otherwise Adelaide could lose this important event and cycling development set back for years.
Chair, Bicycle Institute of South Australia.