I don't get the Advertiser for so many reasons however I could not avoid having a look at an article when I saw the paper whilst waiting for an appointment.

I found it online which I thought was unusual as it is subscription based, I have clipped a couple of paragraphs below as it was a long article.


Miles Kemp, The Advertiser, January 10. 2018

"SA Police figures show cyclists are on target to contribute $1.25 million in fines to State Government coffers this financial year, up from $514,199 in 2014/15.

Officers are also on track to pull over 8308 riders this financial year, up from 6654 in 2014/15, before new cycling safety laws were introduced."

This is the bit that interested me

"However police are only on target to stop 24 motorists for breaching the overtaking rules this financial year. Most of those caught breaking the rule are being cautioned, not fined."

and later in the article

"In 2016/17, 41 drivers were pulled over, with ten of those fined, and in 2015/16, 31 pulled over and 12 fined."

Obviously cyclists should not be breaking the road laws. I'd like to think that they are being fined for meaningful breaches and not petty misdeeds. Obeying the law avoids fines and improves relations with motorists.

My issue is with the minimal attention to close passing by motorists. I know it is hard to prosecute on one party's word versus the other's, and I know video evidence does not seem to count for much.

It seems to me that a pass is deemed ok if the vehicle gets past without contact, i.e. there is no blood splash or viscera on the camera, no car shaped dents in the cyclist or cyclist shaped dents in the car.

The one metre space at 60kph and 1.5 metre at above 620 kph seems to be optional and luckily most drivers seem capable of observing it.

For those people who can't drive, I'd like to think that technology may help in the future. Perhaps roadside cameras in cyclist hotspots could be set up to measure passing distance.

Undercover police on bikes with cameras would be really effective but I imagine WHS guidelines would prevent dangerous activities like riding bikes on roads.

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My sarcasm was - the majority of fines are for not wearing a helmet, MHLs are promoted as being the cornerstone of cycling safety in Australia. Most countries do not have MHLS. Thus by extrapolation cycling in Australia must be safer than all those countries without MHLs - but it isn't, far from it, cycling in Australia has a bad safety record and the Australian cycling injury statistics seem to be getting worse.

I see what you are saying. I don't have a problem with MHL myself but as you point out, it is the 1.5 tonne steel things which do the greatest damage. Obviously MHL won't address incompetent driving.

I was standing in a car park the other day and was gob smacked to see cars turning left at an intersection where a woman wanted to cross the slip lane with a pram to get to the pedestrian crossing. She was smart enough to distrust the capacity of drivers to show respect for her, the baby and the law and I counted seven cars drive illegally through before one stopped to give way as required.

Carlos, "ride to the conditions" may mean something entirely different to you than it does to people in countries without MHL. Having lived in several EU cities and visited many more, I've seen cyclists without helmets, but holding an umbrella in one hand (in gusts of wind) and a phone in another, going over open tram tracks, potholes, dodging pedestrians, cars etc.

Simpson, where do you go for a lux bell that's $30? We had two bike bells break in as many days (overuse on shared bikeways I believe) and spent $19.90 replacing both. But even on those shared paths a polite but urgent voice is sometimes required (and sometimes a less polite voice, like when someone stands in the middle of the path to feed pidgeons and 3 of them fly into your face). With the increase of headphones, and people who urgently need to get a hearing aid, a bell sometimes just isn't enough.

As for MHL, I just see it as part of the gear. Yes, going into the city for shopping etc. could do without, and on long distance/high intensity they get a bit warm in this weather (surprised to read Jilden had a cap over his helmet).

A helmet is part of the gear, MHL is part of the law. You shouldn't conflate the two - they are very different.

Since for you a helmet is part of the wardrobe, MHLs have no (immediate) impact on you. For others a helmet is not and never will be a part of the wardrobe and MHLs likely does have an impact on them (even the Bicycle Network survey indicates that it has a very large impact).

(surprised to read Jilden had a cap over his helmet)

Sun protection for us mature folks with thinning/missing hair, a well designed helmet cover saves on UV damage. A friend I lent my spare bike to go for a ride together showed me his patchy red scalp the next day. Uncool.

Oh and covers protect your ears against maggies too.

I've probably mentioned this on this forum before, but even if the pedestrian is feeding pigeons, cyclists are required to give way.

So if someone doesn't move when I ring my bell, I just ride around slowly. For me the bell is "cyclist approaching", not "cyclist approaching, please move". Of course most pedestrians do move, but when they don't, it's no big deal.

"us mature folks with thinning/missing hair"

I'm so sorry for your loss, I will never know that feeling :-). Helmets just get too warm for me.

Peter, I think you know the laws better than I do, so I'm not going to argue the differences, if any, between 'giving way' and 'sharing the path'. However, I think, in any setting, if someone was standing in the middle of a shared path or even a footpath with a whole bunch of pigeons around them and they fly up into people's face to catch whatever is being thrown at them, then most people would expect them to move, especially if there's about 100sqm right next to the path where it would be safer to feed the birds.

As for courtesy, the other day I turned around the bike to go and apologise to someone I hadn't rang my bell for. 

And the maggies, I had my wife in front of me to deflect the attack of the pigeons, so I figure I can do that in future to protect me from magpies :-)

Sorry Wayne, I have no idea about where to get decent bike bells. In my post I was referring to budget light sets. I bought a Cat Eye white front and Cherry bomb red rear for $30.00 a couple of years ago and I find these adequate for being seen (not brilliant for illuminating the road - excuse the pun). 

I've not heard of lux but highly recommend this bell. I think they can even hear me through over ear headphones!


lux, short for luxury!

My bell was similar to the one you posted, but the spring broke. I currently have the ones from the Giant store ($9.95 each, see their website). Bad quality! The spring keeps twisting, so any given moment you could need your bell and you first have to straighten the thing before you can use it; worst case you're almost on top of the people you're ringing the bell for (and then you scare the hell out of them because 'you crept up on em').

Will keep an eye out for that crane bell, look nice too in shiny bronze.

Dang it mate! You have a voice, use that!

I went with the copper. Paid for freight from the US coz I couldn't get one in Oz. It gets a good workout on the linear park and seems to be holding up well.


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