"Brisbane cyclists suing motorists, lawyers report" courier

"Brisbane cyclists suing motorists, lawyers report" courier

Postby beauyboy » Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:12 pm

The Courier Mail seams to making out there is a war on the roads of Brisbane

www.couriermail.com.au
Brisbane cyclists suing motorists, lawyers report
Hannah Davies
June 06, 2009 12:00am
Theres a war on our roads(this line was left off the online version but was in the printed version)
BRISBANE cyclists are fighting back against motorists, with new figures revealing injury claims for bicycle accidents are rocketing.

In the past six months, lawyers have reported a 50 per cent rise in claims from cyclists hit by cars.

Commuting cyclists are most at risk, as growing numbers ditch the car to beat the city's traffic snarls.

The figures have sparked calls for the city council to build more cycleways and bike lanes - several of which have been blocked in recent months due to roadworks.

Trilby Misso lawyer Jaswant Sandhu said the increasing number of claims they were receiving highlighted the potential risks cyclists faced from having to share the roads with motor vehicles.

"If more was done to separate cyclists from motor vehicles that would help reduce the number of injuries that have been occurring," Ms Sandhu said.

Among the recent claimants is Brisbane father of three Graham Steger, who injured his back in an accident with a car.

Mr Steger, 35, who rides to the city every day, said it was hard to get to work safely.

"Every time I take my bike out I am afraid of being hit by a car again," he said.

"Drivers are becoming more aggressive because of all the congestion."

More than 2500 cyclists are seriously injured on Australian roads each year and 35 are killed.

Brisbane City Council Opposition leader Shayne Sutton said the figures were a wake-up call for the council.

"Modern cities need first-class cycleways and at the moment, Brisbane isn't measuring up," Cr Sutton said.

Council transport chairwoman Jane Prentice said spending on cycleways had quadrupled in the past year to $100 million.

"An unfortunate side effect of traffic congestion is that people become frustrated on the roads and are tempted to take risks," Cr Prentice said.

"We just urge everyone to take care and realise that a variety of vehicles use the roads."

RACQ spokesman Gary Fites said cyclists were as much at fault as drivers.

"There is an undercurrent of antagonism that runs both ways," Mr Fites said.

"Cyclists shouldn't ever forget that in an accident they will come off worst."



BCC give us some more bikeways fore safe travel!!!!
Upgrade the NCL now QR!!!!!!
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by BNA » Sat Jun 06, 2009 6:22 pm

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Re: "Brisbane cyclists suing motorists, lawyers report" courier

Postby MountGower » Sat Jun 06, 2009 6:22 pm

EDIT: OK, so that was probably a little too honest, LOL.
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Re: "Brisbane cyclists suing motorists, lawyers report" courier

Postby Major Taylor » Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:20 pm

I am sorry to resurect an old thread, but this attitude annoys me:

RACQ spokesman Gary Fites said
"Cyclists shouldn't ever forget that in an accident they will come off worst."


This arrogant twit expresses exactly the problem.

Just like cyclists-automobile drivers "come of worst" when they are hit by much larger vehicles.

Does he and the RACQ think that the more dangerous a vehicle the less the operators are responsible for their behavior?

Maybe I should drive a huge truck, then I could smash vehicles up pretty much guilt free by his logic.
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Re: "Brisbane cyclists suing motorists, lawyers report" courier

Postby im_no_pro » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:24 pm

Major Taylor wrote:I am sorry to resurect an old thread, but this attitude annoys me:


All good, 4 days aint exactly grave digging. Since when is there an opposition leader (AT) local council level?? Or is Brisbane just special cos their mayor is a labor whipping boy :?:
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Re: "Brisbane cyclists suing motorists, lawyers report" courier

Postby elantra » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:08 pm

Major Taylor wrote:I am sorry to resurect an old thread, but this attitude annoys me:

RACQ spokesman Gary Fites said
"Cyclists shouldn't ever forget that in an accident they will come off worst."

This arrogant twit expresses exactly the problem.

Just like cyclists-automobile drivers "come of worst" when they are hit by much larger vehicles.

Does he and the RACQ think that the more dangerous a vehicle the less the operators are responsible for their behavior?

Maybe I should drive a huge truck, then I could smash vehicles up pretty much guilt free by his logic.

+ 1
It is hard to believe that the Chief Spokesperson of a supposedly reputable organisation (RACQ) would express such thinly veiled intolerance.
It's disgraceful. :cry:
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Re: "Brisbane cyclists suing motorists, lawyers report" courier

Postby Zynster » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:45 pm

elantra wrote:
Major Taylor wrote:I am sorry to resurect an old thread, but this attitude annoys me:

RACQ spokesman Gary Fites said
"Cyclists shouldn't ever forget that in an accident they will come off worst."

This arrogant twit expresses exactly the problem.

Just like cyclists-automobile drivers "come of worst" when they are hit by much larger vehicles.

Does he and the RACQ think that the more dangerous a vehicle the less the operators are responsible for their behavior?

Maybe I should drive a huge truck, then I could smash vehicles up pretty much guilt free by his logic.

+ 1
It is hard to believe that the Chief Spokesperson of a supposedly reputable organisation (RACQ) would express such thinly veiled intolerance.
It's disgraceful. :cry:


Yes, I ride a bicycle, and I'm an RACQ member (for my car). I think I might need to make a complaint about this Gary Fites. :evil:
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Re: "Brisbane cyclists suing motorists, lawyers report" courier

Postby Zynster » Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:23 pm

This is what I just sent them.

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to express my extreme concern at the attitude expressed by RACQ spokesman Gary Fites in a recent Courier Mail article. As an RACQ member who chooses to cycle to work for fitness and environmental reasons, I am appalled that the RACQ would resort to this kind of arrogant and ignorant stance.

I would have thought that the RACQ would support fair and equitable road use by all vehicles, and a proper adherence to road regulations. Not this anti bicycle attitude with thinly veiled threats as stated by Gary Fites.

I would like to see some public clarification of the RACQ's stance toward cyclists. I do not want to be a part of an organisation that only represents cars at the expense of other road users.
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Re: "Brisbane cyclists suing motorists, lawyers report" courier

Postby Major Taylor » Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:39 pm

Zynster wrote:This is what I just sent them.

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to express my extreme concern at the attitude expressed by RACQ spokesman Gary Fites in a recent Courier Mail article. As an RACQ member who chooses to cycle to work for fitness and environmental reasons, I am appalled that the RACQ would resort to this kind of arrogant and ignorant stance.

I would have thought that the RACQ would support fair and equitable road use by all vehicles, and a proper adherence to road regulations. Not this anti bicycle attitude with thinly veiled threats as stated by Gary Fites.

I would like to see some public clarification of the RACQ's stance toward cyclists. I do not want to be a part of an organisation that only represents cars at the expense of other road users.


Cool-What is their email?
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Re: "Brisbane cyclists suing motorists, lawyers report" courier

Postby elantra » Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:58 pm

Major Taylor wrote:
Zynster wrote:This is what I just sent them.

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to express my extreme concern at the attitude expressed by RACQ spokesman Gary Fites in a recent Courier Mail article. As an RACQ member who chooses to cycle to work for fitness and environmental reasons, I am appalled that the RACQ would resort to this kind of arrogant and ignorant stance.

I would have thought that the RACQ would support fair and equitable road use by all vehicles, and a proper adherence to road regulations. Not this anti bicycle attitude with thinly veiled threats as stated by Gary Fites.

I would like to see some public clarification of the RACQ's stance toward cyclists. I do not want to be a part of an organisation that only represents cars at the expense of other road users.


Cool-What is their email?

Thanks Zynster and Major Taylor for your efforts here
Email is [email protected]
I am also a member of RACQ but have only been a member for a short while, after many years of being a non-member
I joined again because i was driving to Yamba (NSW) for short holiday with 2 teenage daughters a son and a dog. :roll:
Didn't want to get stranded somewhere etc they would crucify me if that happened .....
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Re: "Brisbane cyclists suing motorists, lawyers report" courier

Postby Zynster » Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:56 am

Major Taylor wrote:Cool-What is their email?


I just used the feedback form on their website. It has a field for putting in your membership number so they know you mean business.

PS. no response so far.
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Re: "Brisbane cyclists suing motorists, lawyers report" courier

Postby Zynster » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:17 pm

Gary's reply:

Good afternoon, Dorian

Thank you for your recent email contact in response to the story on cycling safety in last Saturday's Courier-Mail.

The RACQ's long-standing position of seeking to promote safe on-road co-existence between motorists and cyclists has not changed.

My quoted comments regarding the unfortunate undercurrent of antagonism between them reflected the findings of our most recent survey of what most annoys various groups of road users. The observation on the likelihood of personal injury being loaded against cyclists in a crash was made not simply to state the obvious (nor to be a 'thinly veiled threat'), but rather to remind cyclists that discretion is the better part of valour when it comes interacting with motorists, who - if not overtly aggressive towards cyclists - are all too often unaware of them.

In between those quoted comments - in the course of my 10-minute conversation with The Courier-Mail reporter - was much that went unreported on this occasion regarding the need for mutual consideration, courtesy and commonsense

I trust this clarifies my comments and the RACQ's position on this matter.

Please feel free to call my office during office hours on 3872 8909 if you wish to discuss further.

Regards

Gary Fites
General Manager External Relations
RACQ


It seems like the "War on our roads" was the journo's angle and Gary was selectively quoted.
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Re: "Brisbane cyclists suing motorists, lawyers report" courier

Postby Zynster » Fri Jun 12, 2009 2:15 pm

This was my response:

Thank you for your reply Gary. It seems that you were selectively quoted to further the Courier Mail's "War on the Roads" agenda. Surely you must be unhappy with that outcome. It really wasn't a good look for the RACQ.

A cyclist needs to be able to trust drivers. We are vulnerable. They are not. Any perception of antagonism plays to base instincts that could cause a driver to lose their duty of care toward cyclists. And as you pointed out. We do know how that ends up.

However, I don't think it's as big a problem as being made out. Speaking as a daily commuter, I have never had to deal with overt antagonism from a driver. That's not to say it doesn't happen. I hear plenty of stories from fellow cyclists. Sometimes I have issues with drivers, but they are mostly the same issues I'd have if I was driving my car. There are a lot of bad drivers out there.

Most bicycle riders also drive cars, where as car drivers do not generally ride bikes. This would indicate that the requirement for education falls squarely on the driver rather than the cyclist. A large cause of driver problems is their own ignorance of the laws regarding bicycles on our roads.

It would seem to me that the RACQ is perfectly placed to provide this sort of education.

regards,
Dorian Dowse
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Re: "Brisbane cyclists suing motorists, lawyers report" courier

Postby beauyboy » Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:28 pm

I would believe Gary from the RACQ was being mis-quoted. The RACQ through Gary has been pretty good the past few years. Compared with the NRMA they have been SAINTS!

It is very annoying when papers mis-quote people such as was also done to BQ's Ben Wilson a few months back. Things need to be taken with a grain of salt.

Donald
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Re: "Brisbane cyclists suing motorists, lawyers report" courier

Postby Major Taylor » Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:44 pm

I am shock that the Courier Mail would mislead it's readers.

SHOCKED!!

Gary Fites is probably much much more honest.

REALLY
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