A fair go for cyclists

A fortnight ago a letter writer in The Herald told how he'd been reduced to crossing double lines to overtake two cyclists riding abreast, an oncoming car forcing him to abandon what he acknowledged was an illegal manoeuvre. The driver's point, ultimately, was that cyclists should be required to use rear-vision mirrors so they could see him approaching and move over. This fellow, who had been willing to put everyone's life at risk by overtaking across double lines, had the audacity to write that it was reckless for a cyclist not to have a rear-vision mirror!What followed in the Letters columns was claim and counter claim about cyclists' rights under the NSW Road Rules. Cyclists had to ride on the very left of the road, cyclists could not ride two abreast, cyclists could not obstruct a driver, cyclists were such an obstruction because they travelled abnormally slowly, cyclists had to travel hard up against parked cars when the outline of a bicycle was stamped on the roadside, cyclists were barred from causing a traffic hazard by moving into the path of a driver.See NSW Road Rules 125, 129, 151, 153, 247 and 253, and you'll find those road rules at www.rta.nsw.gov.au.You might look also to my column in The Herald today, where I have a closer look at those particular road rules and explain why they don't have the meaning ascribed them by the anti-cycling brigade.But above all, above the rules and regulations, above the explicit might is right, above the reluctance of drivers to slow down, isn't it about a fair go?The NSW Government undertakes all manner of campaigns to change bad behaviour - think the tosser and the little finger - yet it does nothing about the peril and abuse hurled at cyclists almost as a matter of course. Proclaiming cyclists' right to use the road would be a great first step.

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