Last evening Australian television show Sunday Night aired a segment called “War on our roads”.
If you haven’t seen it, here it is.
What are your thoughts? Did Sunday Night do a good job at representing this “war”?
i don’t think that calling it a war on our roads helps anybody,driver or rider.i think that we all need to be mindful of all road users,its just about respect.And do we really need hitch commenting about something that he has never done (exercise).but overall a sad but true story of what happens when drivers are not watching the road,they always say i didn’t see you
Hardly a war when one “side” dies and the other never does.
“i simply didn’t see her!” – aka “if i told you the real reason i hit her, i’d end up in jail”
Jules I’ve had enough of you on this website, are you ever not on?
Doesn’t help anyone when they have “celebrities” like Hinch on their show having a bogan-like rant.
The show captured the trauma that can occur when vehicles and cyclists collide, but I’m not sure it will change the behaviour of motorists.
Problem I saw with Hinch was he made some claims that are easily refuted. But nobody did. So, public-at-large will see this and think the claims are accurate and the solutions reasonable when they’re not. Specifically: cyclists don’t pay for the roads. What about all those cyclists who also own vehicles and pay the taxes for maintenance just like every other driver? And what about England not having a road tax since Churchill and road maintenance instead comes out of general taxes that everybody pays? (from my limited knowledge of Britain.)
The sad fact is that fuel excise is nowhere sufficient to pay for roads. Roads, as a result, are funded out of general revenue – if that is sufficient. If not, we end up with toll roads.
I think you will find that the fees you pay through registration barely pay to keep your state roads agency (like Vicroads) afloat, let alone funding any infrastructure.
If as a cyclist, hypothetically speaking, you owned no cars, you would still be funding the roads that motorists drive on because of your contribution through other taxes which fund the general revenue pool. Thus, as a cyclist you do, in fact contribute more than your fair share. If anything it is the die-hard steering wheel huggers who are the parasites, leaching off your contribution.
My feeling about this report is that we have had enough coverage about the fact that there is a problem on our roads. We need to now start talking about the solution, and a big part of it probably has nothing to do with cars or bikes, but with public transport (let’s face it – no matter how much those of us reading this like bikes, for many more people, the solution to congestion and tension on our roads has 6 carriages, not 2 wheels.)
(My garage contains 2 cars and 6 bicycles. I am a weekend warrior – that is, I drive my car on weekends.)
well said Geoff.
Actually, every commuter that chooses to cycle, instead of driving his car and partaking in traffic jams, should get a discount on his rego.
I was thinking about this on my morning ride. We make life much better for motorists in many ways and they don’t appreciate that.
I was thinking we should take a stronger approach. How about a national drive to work day. All the extra traffic from the cyclists driving into the city and the reduced parking from the extra cars would cause chaos and make the news.
Some of us that don’t work in the CBD could always drive in to show our support.
Also agree with Geoff. The cost of the Australian road system is paid for out of consolidated government revenue, not car registration fees. Furthermore, motor vehicle rego fees raise only a small fraction the actual cost of building and maintaining our roads. Contrary to common bogan logic, roads are not a user-pay system. They are heavily subsidised by all who pay tax, irrespective of how you may use the roads. Simply put, if you pay taxes you are paying for the roads. I think its also fair to say that cyclists, as a demographic, tend to represent a part of the community which pays more than the average amount of tax, and are also tend to be more productive than the average sedentary person in their job, and the economy generally.
That’s not miss the other good the point already made here, that the vast majority of cyclist do own registered cars. They just sometimes choose to leave their cars at home. Indeed, if rego fees are considered a partial source of funding for our roads then cyclists are disproportionately subsidising the car only road users and heavy freight carriers that put the greatest demands on our road system. Those people are funding the system but put it under far less strain than their sedentary counterparts. In an better world people who choose to cycle rather drive would be offered a financial incentive to do so rather than being treated as the problem. Like many here I have 4 bikes and ride almost daily. I also have 2 cars which see quite limited use. I get so sick of the BS cyclist rego argument.
More driver education is needed at the learner and probationary stage. The greatest danger I face when I ride is young aggresive males who don’t respect speed limits and safe passing distances.
From a commercial channel and a primetime slot, that was actually above average really. A few throws to haters with the Hinch soundbites, but overall the message was pro-cyclist. They might not have challenged Hinch’s complaints, but they also didn’t challenge the idea of banning cars from the CBD or the idea of increasing the use of bicycles in cities.
I’ll take it as a positive sign.
Agree. No doubt there will be rednecks siding with Hinch, but the overwhelming message of the program was the vulnerability of cyclists and the need for drivers to be careful. It would have been satisfying if the rubbish about not paying registration had been subjected to argument, but not sure that there was anything there that should have been pushed aside. That London footage was disconcerting!
Derryn Hinch, a degenerate alcoholic. Opinion net worth = 0
Take the donor liver back
I’ll never forget being out for dinner and seeing Derryn Hinch with his now ex-wife at a table near us. He proceeded to drink an entire bottle of wine with dinner. He even took his medication (I imagine he’s on anti-rejection drugs) with a glass. Take back the donor liver indeed.
But I did find it interesting that he excluded rider in lycra in his first whinge and then proceeded to slag them off wholeheartedly when prompted by the reporter.
how about banning Derryn Hinch from the CBD..?
I can understand getting expert opinion from Mark Scaife, but still in the dark about Derryn Hinch’s reason for being on there. Although…when out on the bike you can understand when a normal decent human being driving a car loses concentration, or is a bit careless, and makes a mistake. Now what I don’t understand is why some people drive past and yell obscenities at you. Maybe Hinchie represents the cyclist haters. They’re out there.
But not a bad story really – mostly fair and even handed. A good reminder to of the risks each time we go out.
It is time for a REVOLUTION Cyclists of Australia. The Laws HAVE to change. In the Netherlands, if a car hits a cyclist, the driver is responsible, no questions asked. As long as the cyclists of Australia continue to accept such appalling treatment from the driving public, things will never change. HOW MANY CYCLISTS HAVE TO DIE?? CyclingTips, you are the voice of Cycling in Australia.. Make a Stand!
I really don’t care about another sensationalistic, attention grabbing, bottom of the barrel channel 7 “journalism” but I grew up in Europe and the one thing that is strikingly different here in Oz is driver education.
In Europe it is compulsory for every driver to take 7 hours theoretical lessons and a minimum of 7 hours practical lessons with a licensed instructor in a dual pedal car. In those lessons respect and attention to every traffic participant are conveyed to the mostly 18-year-old student which counteracts aggressive driving behaviour.
In Australia, a 16-year-old is thrown into the deep end with little to no requirement for formal driver education, driving a commodore with his bogan dad (like Mark Skaife) who teaches the L-plater to not give cyclists an inch on the road. Of course this attitude never changes and P-platers are amongst the most dangerous drivers on Australian roads.
That’s why so many more cyclists and pedestrians are killed down under aided of course by appalling cycling infrastructure.
i here this argument a fare bit when i get yelled at by ignorant drivers “you shouldn’t be on the road you don’t even pay rego” i own 2 cars so i guess i do pay rego and would be happy to pay for bike rego but a little rego plate or sticker wont change the fact that cyclists will still get killed /injured the only thing that will keep cyclists safe is driver attitude i would like to challenge mark skafe and daren hunch to come on a ride with me and see for themselves what its really like out there then they may be able to give a more accurate opinion on the subject
You’ve made a very valid point Roger. It would be interesting to see how both Skaife and Hinch would react once they have ridden around city/suburban roads. Will paying rego change anything? Of course it won’t. If that was the case there wouldn’t be the road rage we see everyday between ‘rego paying’ roadusers in cars and trucks.
Additionally, where would the bike rego stop? What age do you have to pay rego? Does that mean a child under the age of 16, who legally in my state of Qld can’t hold a licence, now needs to register a bike. The family going for a weekend ride through backstreets with two kids on their Kmart bikes need to register them? How would such an idea be regulated?
I’m of the belief government is eventually going to act, as there is the opportunity to make revenue from this constant debate. I can not see why each states cycling authority couldn’t put in place, with the support and financial backing of governments, mandatory training/lesson rides to new owners of bikes and be legislatively bound to attend. This gives the rider (age limitations attached) a so called ‘licence’ to ride on the road and be aware of how to ride a bike on the road.
Furthermore, the same ‘program’ could be linked with further education to drivers; via advertising campaigns and being integrated into every states general transport authority’s road rules handbooks and practical tests. Oh, and while they’re at it, a few more bike lanes may assist. It’s a changing of the mindset ingrained in drivers and also educating riders to ride appropriately.
Finally, as we all should be aware and as my boss likes to joke with me about and undeniably true ‘You may be well within your right to be riding on the road; but when accidents happen you can’t argue your point when you’re squashed’.
Bring on Bathurst, the greatest day to be a cyclist in Australia, not a V8 or Ute on the road.
So sad, yet so true! In QLD it’s definitely any type of Commodore driver! It appears that the sale of said vehicle comes with free brain amputation.
I wish Hinch was extinct
I am a commuting and recreational cyclist but i have to admit.. seeing some of the cyclist in the video criss crossing like they’re stitching the road with their bikes is mental.. i just think theyre asking for it.. theres one scene in the video where a cyclist went on the small gap of a car and a bus and got pinned.. who does that? that person has a death wish..
yes Francis there is alway a few nut jobs out there making the average commuter and cyclist look bad, but far outnumbered by bad drivers.i commute to work everyday and then speed most the day driving as part of my job and most drivers are aggressive to other car driver and ALL other road users.”you know that get out of my way attitude”
Drivers have this over-inflated sense of entitlement. They pay for a car, insurance and rego – therefore have more right to the road. Someone needs to set this straight. We need more “multi-use” lanes on roads without sufficient space for dedicated bike lanes. If the bikes are in the “multi-use” lane, then cars drivers cant cry foul.
What makes a human in a car more important than a human on a bicycle anyway?
Hinch is an irrelevant dinosaur. A pity the reporter or anyone on the show didnt take him to task on some of his ridiculous comments, but then thats the level of intelligence in parts of Australia’s media. At least the issue was aired in prime time which has to be a good thing, even if it means putting up with Hinch.
Road Safety: de-statization if you actually care (http://conza.tumblr.com/tagged/roads).
“…In addition, just as in other businesses, there would be facets peculiar to this particular industry. The road entrepreneur would have to try to contain congestion, reduce traffic accidents, plan and design new facilities in coordination with already existing highways as well as with the plans of others for new expansion. He would have to set up the “rules of the road” so as best to accomplish these and other goals. The road industry would be expected to carry on each and every one of the tasks now under-taken by public roads authorities: fill potholes, install road signs, guard rails, maintain lane markings, repair traffic
signals, and so on for the myriad of “road furniture” that keeps traffic moving.
Applying the concepts of profit and loss to the road industry, we can see why privatization would almost certainly mean a gain compared to the present, nationalized system of road management.
As far as safety is concerned, presently there is no road manager who loses financially if the accident rate on “his” turnpike increases, or is higher than other comparable avenues of transportation. A civil servant draws his annual salary regardless of the accident toll piled up under his domain. But if he were a private owner of the road in question, in competition with numerous other highway companies (as well as other modes of transit such as airlines, trains, boats, etc.), completely dependent for financial sustenance on the voluntary payments of satisfied customers, then he would indeed lose out if his road compiled a poor safety record (assuming that customers desire, and are willing to pay for, safety).
He would, then, have every incentive to try to reduce accidents, whether by technological innovations, better rules of the road, improved methods of selecting out drunken and other undesirable drivers, etc. If he failed, or did less well than his competition, he eventually would be removed from his position of responsibility. Just as we now expect better mouse-traps from a private enterprise system which rewards success and penalizes failure, so could we count on a private ownership setup to improve highway safety.
Thus, as a partial answer to the challenge that private ownership would mean the deaths of millions of people in traffic accidents, we reply, “There are, at present, millions of people who have been slaughtered on our nation’s highways; a changeover to the enterprise system would lead to a precipitous decline in the death and injury rate, due to the forces of competition…”
— Walter Block, The Privatization of Roads and Highways (http://mises.org/books/roads_web.pdf ).
Drivers vs. Cyclists completely misses the point and is ultimately nothing but a red herring. The solution isn’t anywhere near banning cars in the CBD nor banning cycles etc. The ultimate cause is that those who own and manage these assets supposedly in the name of the public — the various roads bureaucrats — cannot manage their way out of the proverbial paper bag.
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