Call for end to cycle of abuse

BUNDABERG cycling clubs have called for a halt to the daily barrage of abuse they face on the roads, claiming riders are attacked verbally or physically nearly every time they get on their bikes.

Their comments followed the assault of a cyclist on Enterprise Street on Monday night, when it is alleged a person in a white Holden slowed down, rolled down the car window and struck him from behind, about 7.40pm.

While the male cyclist only had minor bruising, Coral Isle Cyclists Club president Bernie Kemps said the attack was just the tip of the iceberg.

“Every day it happens,” he said.

Mr Kemps said riders in his club had reported attacks ranging from the minor to the life-threatening.

“We’ve had items chucked out of cars at cyclists and riders run off the road,” he said.

He recounted one day several years ago, when a vehicle pulled up in front of his bike and the occupants got out and threatened him.

“That was the last straw. I won’t ride to work any more,” he said.

Bundaberg Amateur Cycling Club president Toby Boylan was not surprised by the assault.

“We cop a lot more abuse than we did 10 years ago,” Mr Boylan said.

“Driving schools need to educate 17-year-olds about cyclists’ rights as well as the car users’ rights.”

He said most cyclists were aware they could be frustrating to larger vehicles, and stuck to back roads to avoid confrontation.

“But even on the back roads, it can cause problems,” he said.

Bundaberg Police Sergeant Leisa Norton said officers were making inquiries into Monday’s assault.

The vehicle involved was a white Holden Commodore, which travelled down Enterprise Street towards Takalvan Street.

Bundaberg Police Traffic Branch Sergeant Paul Sullivan said bicycle riders were subject to all the same road rules as cars.

“They need to follow the same rules, and be treated with the same courtesy as any other road user. If drivers are passing a bike, they need to follow the same rules they would when overtaking another car,” Sgt Sullivan said.

Always leave plenty of room when passing someone on a bike, and indicate to drive around them.

When making a left turn, check your mirrors for bikes and do not cut across a cyclist unless they have enough space to brake safely.

Cyclists must have effective brakes, a bell and lights fitted — not reflectors — at the front and rear.

They must also indicate using their hands, and stick to all other road rules.

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