A facebook page “drivers for registration of cyclists” is getting a lot of coverage lately. They are at the moment campaigning through change.org to make it compulsory for cyclists to ride single file. As usual, this type of campaign attracts non-cyclists and anti-cyclists, but it is moderated to some extent by someone who prefers to remain anonymous.

While I have some sympathy for some of the things they say, most of their arguments are spurious and easy to refute by anyone with any knowledge or experience of cycling or road safety.

Have a look and see what you think.

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Thanks Henry, could you share with us the comment you tried to make?

"The idea that single file is the answer is flawed. A standard traffic lane is 3.5m wide, but a cyclist (1m) + 1m passing distance + medium sized car (2m) = 4m. Therefore a car must cross into the adjacent lane to pass whether single file or 2 abreast. If a driver can’t do this safely, they shouldn’t be driving."

Couldn't have expressed it better myself. You've picked up on one of their many fallacies and inconsistencies.

Ah but if you reduced the 1m to 0.5m it would all work out !

Bang on Michael! I think you and Henry have just used clear and simple mathematics to explain how close a minority of drivers are getting. I wish they would think about and understand that simple concept themselves. 

It's actually 'just arithmetic'. ;-) Sam

I wonder if the paper could be held liable for promoting hate towards a targeted group of society. I'm sure in the European Court for human rights it would gain traction, but Australian law and sentiment is quite different.

Sue them just because they said something you don't like? No. Cyclists are not a protected group under any anti-discrimination law in Australia, and I doubt the ECHR would want to address it at any time other than the short window between 31 March and 2 April.

The answer is to come up with a better opposing argument or boycott their advertisers, not to lawyer up. 

It would be a different matter if it could be conclusively proven that a newspaper had incited actual violent acts, but then the problem would be the violent acts and not the discrimination.

Dave, discrimination I understand, but when we read things like "they should all die" or "run em all over" or "they're better of as road kill" I'm sure the ECHR would consider that as inciting violence against a particular group of people solely because they are that particular group. To my knowledge, a media carrier could be held accountable for allowing such expressions. I know the senior editor of a prominent Jewish magazine in Europe who has been successful in stopping a number of publications for allowing such comments (again, I know EU is not Australia, and I am also fully aware the Jewish community is not the cycling community).

My memory tells me that according to the Adelaide Household ??? Survey (think that's the title) it's a bit over 70%. The Traffic Engineers on the forum may be able to clarify further... Sam

I wonder if they will start posting here as cyclists, but blaming cyclists for everything.

I won't try to excuse law breaking, dangerous or selfish riding by cyclists as it makes me angry myself but it  amuses me that the call for rego plates assumes that the police will do anything about dangerous or illegal acts on the road just because a vehicle can be identified by a number plate. Maybe they could try reporting any of the thousands of dangerous driving incidents by motorists as a test, to satisfy themselves that it is a waste of time.

You can report pages or comments to Facebook if they go against community standards, but unfortunately “hate speech” is only considered a problem if it is against things like a disability, religion or sexual orientation. Apparently cyclists are fair game.

In the end it is just a bunch of miserable whingers who feel better after airing their views on social media. (I feel better after saying that). To quote Bill Murray: “It’s hard to win an argument with a smart person, but it’s damn near impossible to win an argument with a stupid person”. Bicycle registration will never happen for reasons that have been discussed many times already.

On occasions when I drive to work, it is not cyclists that hold me up, but the many cars. What these drivers don’t realise is that cars are the problem and bicycles are part of the solution. We would have a 20 percent reduction in traffic if 1 in 5 motorists rode a bicycle instead.

My morning bicycle commute allows me to happily (and smugly) pass hundreds of cars stuck at traffic lights. Drivers are just envious.

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