An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

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An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby The 2nd Womble » Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:54 pm

http://www.racv.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/ ... f1f61032e4


Nov 2012


Over many years RACV has supported an integrated approach to providing a wide range of transport services, including cycling. We have been active participants in the Ride to Work and Ride to School promotions and also provide Bike Assist to support cyclists. More recently RACV has operated Melbourne Bike Share on behalf of the State Govern­ment to provide alternative and healthy commuter travel opportunities around the city area. RACV has also promoted the need for safer bicycle facilities both ‘off-road’ and as part of our road network, including the extensive network of off-road paths in Melbourne and regional Victoria.
In the past few years several councils in Melbourne have implemented new bike facilities and in many cases this has reduced the space for other road users. There seems to be an intent, especially in some inner suburbs, to restrict car access. It is critical that in providing new bicycle facilities, the needs of all road users are properly considered. This includes those travelling by car or public transport, and freight users. On-street parking is a particularly ineffective use of road space on many arterial roads and removal of parking needs to be considered when providing new bicycle facilities. A good example of this situation has been proposed recently by the City of Yarra in developing Copenhagen-style bicycle lanes for Wellington St, Collingwood, through the removal of parking on one side of the road.
What the city doesn’t need is bicycle lanes like those on Albert St in East Melbourne. They do not have a proper kerb to show where cars should park. Their temporary appearance and the surrounding poles, lines and signs are a blight on this beautiful part of Melbourne. Clearways were implemented to provide two lanes in the peak direction, however cars are frequently parked within clearway hours, causing extreme congestion. Clearway hours are also inadequate. This overall arrangement causes significant congestion and threatens road safety.
Obeying the rules when driving or riding is critical to improving the safety for all road users. The increased incidence of cyclists disobeying red lights, riding without lights or wearing dark clothing is a worrying trend. We’ve also had increasing reports of confrontation between motorists and cyclists. Apart from the need to provide safer facilities for cyclists as part of an overall integrated transport approach, we all have an obligation to obey road rules and show mutual respect.
RACV encourages all councils and VicRoads to ensure new bicycle facilities take into account the needs of all road users and promote safer cycling and safer road use. We also urge cyclists, as we do motorists, to conform with the road rules.
Ross Herron, President and Chairman of the Board
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by BNA » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:05 pm

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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby Aushiker » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:05 pm

Like this comment ...

The increased incidence of cyclists disobeying red lights, riding without lights or wearing dark clothing is a worrying trend. We’ve also had increasing reports of confrontation between motorists and cyclists. Apart from the need to provide safer facilities for cyclists as part of an overall integrated transport approach, we all have an obligation to obey road rules and show mutual respect.


Why do have red-light cameras for again? Why is there an increasing number of cyclists using cameras? Must be something to do with our red-light running right?

Andrew
Last edited by Aushiker on Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby The 2nd Womble » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:08 pm

Open letter to the RACV CEO forthcoming from SCA.
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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby il padrone » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:34 pm

"In the past few years several councils in Melbourne have implemented new bike facilities and in many cases this has increased the space for all road users. There seems to be an intent, especially in some inner suburbs, to restrict car access. It is critical that in providing new bicycle facilities, the needs of all road users are properly considered, but those of space-hogging single driver motor vehicles should be lower in the priorities of an increasingly congested metropolitan city. This includes those travelling by car or public transport, and freight users, as well as the much more energy and space-efficient modes of walking and cycling."


"....Obeying the rules when driving or riding is critical to improving the safety for all road users. The increased incidence of motorists disobeying red lights, driving while texting or failing to use indicators is a worrying trend. We’ve also had increasing reports of confrontation between motorists and cyclists. Apart from the need to provide safer facilities for cyclists as part of an overall integrated transport approach, we all have an obligation to obey road rules and show mutual respect."

A better emphasis on the whole issue. Far too easy for one road user group to just tear strips off another. Real solutions are what is required :idea:
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby The 2nd Womble » Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:11 pm

Safe Cycling Australia's draft response. Your feedback is welcomed and expected.

Dear Ross,
In response to your open letter, let me assure you and your members that the Australian cycling community has taken every possible measure in recent times to bridge the divide between motorists and bike riders in part by focusing on our own behaviour and image. This includes countless organisations and groups not just within Victoria, but in every State and Territory. We are trying to put our best foot forward by way of – in my opinion - needless justification to show that we can and indeed must be allowed to share the road. The statistics from the Victorian Police only this week show that cyclists are indeed riding more safely and respectfully than ever, with an incredibly impressive low number of fines having been handed out for illegal riding in October.
We are intent on educating and policing our own. Road safety initiatives and campaigns for vulnerable road users including pedestrians are largely underfunded – if at all – and undertaken not just for the benefit of cyclists, but for the common good of all road users. Mutual respect is high on the agenda of every committed cyclist, and I find your suggestion to the contrary to be quite surprisingly naive.
We’re not merely risking a knee scratch if involved in the unthinkable. Rather, we risk a very abrupt end at the hands of others should we exercise poor judgement whilst riding. I suggest to you Ross that mutual respect is far more important and more commonly displayed by the average cyclist through the basic instinctive need for self-preservation. At the end of the day we have little choice but to entrust every road user with our lives.
When such points of contention rear their heads we must all acknowledge that those who continually reinforce the stereotype of the under-skilled or plain arrogant/ignorant cyclist and motorist, are one in the same and are in the minority for both groups. That being said, the trend towards aggression and the prevailing views regarding us as a group are the elephant in the room. This should never have to be a war of words, and we should not repeatedly feel compelled to justify our own existence. Basic logic dictates that the same individual who cycles through a red light during morning peak hour, will more than likely be the same individual who see’s fit to drive 20kph over the speed limit on their way down the coast to spend hours sleeping on the beach on a Saturday afternoon.
Cyclists have a legal right to ride on our roads without fear of retribution or marginalisation from the motoring public. We have the right to take a lane as is sometimes necessary for our own safety. We have the right to ride outside of dooring zones and bike lanes when they are inadequate for our use. This point in particular deserves to be made, given that much of our cycling infrastructure does not conform to national and international guidelines and is placing us further at risk than had there been no infrastructure at all. Cycling infrastructure does not indemnify the motorist from their obligations under the law. It is simply not possible to incorporate cycle lanes into the entire road network, and motorists cannot expect cyclists to be kept separate from the general flow of traffic in our cities.
In response to another of your points, the cycling community would most likely accept the introduction of hefty fines for those who ride in anything other than hi visibility clothing, the day that the owners of darker coloured motor vehicles become compelled to pay higher registration costs for that luxury of choice, but you and I know that there’s no point in hypothesising. Just as the motorist has the right to drive whatever they wish in just about any manner they can think of, we are legally entitled to wear whatever we choose when we ride. Agreed, hi-vis can and does save lives. Safe Cycling Australia has received many accolades for its road safety cycling clothing and its effect on driver behaviour, but we do not accept that all cyclists must be compelled to wear such clothing to compensate for the lack of attention and due care by others.
Every single motorist has a duty of care. It is issued in the form of a driver’s license. As a professional driver myself I have seen the skill, ability and sense of common courtesy of the average motorist deteriorate year by year to a truly disturbing level. I am profoundly aware of the presence of vulnerable road users at all times. When driving a truck I drive responsibly for the safety of all road users. There is no reason why the same awareness should not rightly be expected from every motorist.
Cyclists are becoming sick and tired of being made the scape goat for the woes of the motoring public and as I have said, we are collectively doing what we can to encourage our own to ride right and ride respectfully. Now the onus is on yourself and your members to follow suit. There is no us and them with regards to who breaks what and when, and there must be no distinction of class, intelligence or level of bravery to differentiate between those who drive and those who ride, walk or catch public transport. We are all Aussies, and as such we all deserve the very same mutual respect you mentioned in your letter.
Although my opinion may be considered harsh, I truly feel that the prevailing attitude by many in relation to cyclists is akin to racism, and it must end here.
Yours sincerely,
Dave Sharp
Director – Safe Cycling Australia
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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby Ross » Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:20 pm

What a hypocrite the RACV guy is! He supports and encourages cycling except where it might impact in some pi$$y way with motorists.
And as 2nd Womble pointed out, car drivers never :roll: break the law...
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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby rkelsen » Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:33 pm

Ross Herron, President and Chairman of the Board wrote:The increased incidence of cyclists disobeying red lights...


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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby zero » Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:10 pm

An open paraphrase of the RACVs letter.


The RACV has become very important and large (justifying a large and important board and ceo salary) from the roads are for cars and suburbs are for cars policies of the last 40 years, and would absolutely not like to see a policy that causes individual couples to no longer see the need to own and insure both his and hers cars. A substantial drop in the number of multicar households could significantly reduce the amount of money that the Victorian motor population currently spends on insurance.

Above all else, its crucial to minimise the possibility that one partner can cycle to work or another destination comfortably whilst another partner uses the family car. To that end we wish to ensure that any major axis of travel does not have bicycle infrastructure, and that all such uses of bicycles to travel along direct routes or major axis be discouraged as highly-anti-insurance and therefore clearly anti-victorian!

Therefore whilst I left my house which is nicely located in a barrier suburb in a dead-end court that cannot support through traffic, and has no kerbs near my house which prevents other people from parking in it, and then travelled along the $20billion motorway and tunnel network that excludes bicycles and spent virtually all of the states infrastructure money of the last 20 years, it occured to me, that despite the fact that it is impossible for inner city residents and workers to travel through my suburb for any purpose, it is highly unfair if they do similar things back to me. Travel through the inner city, and parking in the inner city should be optimised for people that don't live there, and there is absolutely no hypocrisy in me simaltaneously having a quiet suburb to live in, with guarenteed private parking for me, whilst I make noise, air pollution, run down the pedestrians in and then block a 3.5m lane to dump my private 10sqm asset in a suburb if I don't happen to live in it.
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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby high_tea » Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:18 pm

Yeah, well, pushing a pro-motorist agenda in fairly devious ways is nothing new for the Royal Automobile Club of Insert State Here.

Here's another fine example of their work:

http://www.racv.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/afdb58004da9a9bc9f85df54a1b45993/AusLink%202%20RACVs%20$8%20billion%20case%20for%20Victorian%20roads.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

Note paragraph 2:

Victoria generates 25% of Australia’s GDP, is home to 25% of the population and contributes 25% of fuel excise collected by the Federal Government. Despite this, federal road funding allocations in recent years have fluctuated between 15% and 18%.


No part of this quote is untrue, but you'd be forgiven for thinking that Victoria is somehow missing out on its share of funding. It's not. They get all their fuel excise - the Federal Goverment merely collects it on the states' behalf. They are actually complaining about the proportion of money that the states get on condition that they spend it on certain road projects.

I would not suggest that they are actually lying, but it's very very easy to get the wrong impression from this document (the claims in which have been repeated in Queensland and possibly other states). Quite apart from whatever policy change they're aiming for (more roads, I gather :roll: ), it's feeding that sense of entitlement - I'm sure most Victorian motorists aren't familiar with the fascinating subject of Federal/State funding - which anyone who has cycled on the road, ever, is all too familiar with.

This is what we're up against folks - they're smart, well-funded and shamelessly pro-motorist.
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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby dontazame » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:26 am

, and I find your suggestion to the contrary to be quite surprisingly naive

Every single motorist has a duty of care. It is issued in the form of a driver’s license.

Although my opinion may be considered harsh, I truly feel that the prevailing attitude by many in relation to cyclists is akin to racism, and it must end here.


Good letter, but IMO - delete the above and/or change 'licence' for 'license'.

I totally agree with RACV on the following:
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On-street parking is a particularly ineffective use of road space on many arterial roads...
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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby maestro » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:51 pm

I wholeheartedly support everything you have written, with the exception of...
The 2nd Womble wrote:We are intent on educating and policing our own.

Just curious as to who you are referring to with the word "we"?

Personally I have no desire to police any other road users. I have no authority to do so, and would expect little (if any) result from any attempts. Indeed, my usual response to anyone who points out another cyclists lawlessness is to ask why on earth they are telling me?
The only time I ever proactively get involved is reporting to the police when there is a significant safety risk (i.e. all those cars which I see running red lights go unreported).
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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby gorilla monsoon » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:41 am

I fail to see why you are so upset that the CEO of the RACV would have an attitude any different to the one shown. The hint is in the second word of the club's title: "Automobile". Are you as upset with the bike-hating (and car, truck, motorcycle and skateboard-hating) Harold Scruby, fuhrer, king, emporer and president of the Pedestrian Council of Australia?
Why not start public campaigns to have the word "bicycle" appended to these clubs/associations and get board representation? It would make more sense than preaching to the choir.
Some days you are a big, strutting rooster, some days you are a bit chicken and some days you are just a complete cocque. Roger Ramjet: 2009 Giant CRX3 Spockette: 2009 Trek FX 7.3 (WSD, property of Mrs Monsoon) Lady Penelope: 2011 Avanti Cadent 1.0 TdF
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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby Aushiker » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:59 am

gorilla monsoon wrote:Why not start public campaigns to have the word "bicycle" appended to these clubs/associations and get board representation? It would make more sense than preaching to the choir.


At a cycle road safety forum hosted by the RACWA (third in the series BTW focusing on cycling safety) a RACWA board member stated that they now consider themselves a "mobility" organisation, not just an automotive organisation. Maybe time for RACV to head in this direction as well, if they are already not doing so.

Andrew
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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby gorilla monsoon » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:42 pm

So what that says to me Andrew is that it is time cyclists took the next step and got someone elected to the board. Perhaps an intelligent academic?
Some days you are a big, strutting rooster, some days you are a bit chicken and some days you are just a complete cocque. Roger Ramjet: 2009 Giant CRX3 Spockette: 2009 Trek FX 7.3 (WSD, property of Mrs Monsoon) Lady Penelope: 2011 Avanti Cadent 1.0 TdF
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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby greyhoundtom » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:58 pm

gorilla monsoon wrote:So what that says to me Andrew is that it is time cyclists took the next step and got someone elected to the board. Perhaps an intelligent academic?

Intelligent Academic?..............Do they exist?...............If they do, they are as scares as hens teeth. :roll:
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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby Aushiker » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:39 pm

gorilla monsoon wrote:So what that says to me Andrew is that it is time cyclists took the next step and got someone elected to the board. Perhaps an intelligent academic?


An interesting thought. One of my colleagues is on the Board but I don't think she is a cyclist. They are currently holding elections so guess it would be a year now before the next elections.

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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby gorilla monsoon » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:27 pm

A whole year in which to prepare.........
Some days you are a big, strutting rooster, some days you are a bit chicken and some days you are just a complete cocque. Roger Ramjet: 2009 Giant CRX3 Spockette: 2009 Trek FX 7.3 (WSD, property of Mrs Monsoon) Lady Penelope: 2011 Avanti Cadent 1.0 TdF
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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby Aushiker » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:29 pm

gorilla monsoon wrote:A whole year in which to prepare.........


Seed planted :)

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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby jules21 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:59 am

The Racv already has one progressive board member - paula piccione, who is stephen mayne's wife. Unsure if she's interested in cycling though. Problem is, most voters are retired members, many of whom think cyclists are pests. They are by nature very conservative organisations. I'd argue bicycle groups are fast catching up and where our support is better placed.
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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby gorilla monsoon » Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:24 am

It is not necessarily getting on the board that is important but the public campaign in the lead-up to the elections.
Some days you are a big, strutting rooster, some days you are a bit chicken and some days you are just a complete cocque. Roger Ramjet: 2009 Giant CRX3 Spockette: 2009 Trek FX 7.3 (WSD, property of Mrs Monsoon) Lady Penelope: 2011 Avanti Cadent 1.0 TdF
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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby Xplora » Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:17 am

Getting on the Board?!? LMAO!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Have a read about the BNSW board. We can't get proper cycling advocacy inside the BICYCLE ORGANISATIONS, LET ALONE A MOTORIST CLUB. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I need more LOLZ emoticons :cry:
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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby gorilla monsoon » Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:47 pm

You would probably achieve a lot more with NRMA representation than with BNSW representation.
Some days you are a big, strutting rooster, some days you are a bit chicken and some days you are just a complete cocque. Roger Ramjet: 2009 Giant CRX3 Spockette: 2009 Trek FX 7.3 (WSD, property of Mrs Monsoon) Lady Penelope: 2011 Avanti Cadent 1.0 TdF
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Re: An open letter from RACV CEO Ross Heron. Do read this :)

Postby Xplora » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:14 pm

gorilla monsoon wrote:You would probably achieve a lot more with NRMA representation than with BNSW representation.

You would. Unfortunately, most of these kinds of organisations promote internal ego rather than actual change. :roll: Even NRMA is getting rolled in the wrong end of town.
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