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Fatal February looms as another cyclist killed

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by Sir Ride Alot, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. During this operation motorcyclists once again display a low number of offences and this time the lowest.


    Fatal February looms as another cyclist killed
    Adam Carey February 11, 2012

    A MOTHER who died of massive head injuries after being hit by a car at the intersection of a major road in Melbourne's north-west yesterday morning is the fourth cyclist killed on Victoria's roads this year.

    The woman, 36, who had one child, was not wearing a helmet. She was travelling on the Melton Highway at Hillside about 6.15am when her bike was hit by a Nissan coupe at the intersection of Gourlay Road.

    Police believe she may also have been listening to music on earphones, which were found at the crash scene. A witness told police the driver of the car that hit her passed through an amber light just before the crash.

    Just six weeks into the year, the state's road toll for cyclists is already halfway to last year's total of eight deaths. Three of last year's deaths happened in December.

    The dreadful cluster of cycling fatalities this summer coincides with a month-long police blitz against behaviour that threatens ''vulnerable road users''.

    Police have already booked almost 2000 people as part of Operation Halo, 288 of them cyclists, most commonly for not wearing a helmet and running red lights and stop signs.

    More than 1600 offences have been clocked up against motorists, for breaches including using mobile phones, driving in bike lanes and failing to give way.

    Sergeant Arty Lavos, who is spearheading Operation Halo, says statistically February is the worst month of the year for vulnerable road users, which also includes pedestrians and motorcyclists. He denies that police are targeting cyclists with Operation Halo.

    ''It's targeting behaviours that contribute to trauma,'' he says. ''And if those vulnerable road users are doing the wrong thing they're contributing to their own trauma. We're actually trying to look after them.''

    He points out that four of the eight cyclists killed last year were not wearing a helmet. One man died after falling from his bike and hitting his head on the footpath, his helmet dangling from his handlebars. ''A helmet's saved my life a couple of times,'' Sergeant Lavos says.

    Yet there are many who argue that in truth helmets save few lives and that compulsory helmet laws have had a negative effect on public health, by discouraging cycling.

    ''Helmets are tested for an impact speed of 20 km/h. Helmets are not effective at high speeds, it's not what they're designed to do,'' says Nicholas Dow, a spokesman for the Melbourne Bike Users Group.

    He points to a study, published yesterday in the New Zealand Medical Journal, which found that since the introduction of compulsory helmet laws in that country in 1994, cycling had halved.



    Riding with earphones is not against the law, although Sergeant Lavos says it reduces awareness of what's happening around a rider.

    Bicycle Network Victoria's Garry Brennan said there was ''no evidence'' riding with earphones was hazardous, any more than driving with a car stereo on.


    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/f...list-killed-20120210-1smf7.html#ixzz1mFJyVqL2
     

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  2. I dont think they should be enforcing helmets within the inner-CBD areas. Half the time its just plain inconvenient lugging it around for short trips. Down the goldie only the lycra brigrade wears helmets, everyone else thinks its too cool for school with their 60's styled bikes and seems cops do nothing.

    I do agree that using ipods while running/cycling is dangerous and distracting, even drivers get distracted by loud music

    One died on the gold coast on the weekend after a car lost control and clipped a pole then hitting the cyclist, seems like they did a hit-n-run as well
    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/cyclist-dies-after-gold-coast-crash-20120212-1sz5y.html
     
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  3. Many of those fines might be for trivial offenses that have next to no impact on road trauma (like say, the scooter pinged in Wellington street bike lane tonight?).

    I'd be interested to know the breakdown of actual offenses.

    It is good to see that the overwhelming bulk were car drivers though.

    (Could it really be claimed that helmet laws have led to a decline in bicycle use in Australia? Oh the absurdity.)
     
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  4. okay, but this is meaningless without knowing whether the other three who weren't wearing helmets would have survived with them. And indeed whether ANY of the eight fatalities were in any way related to head trauma
     
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  5. helmet has nothing to do with it.
    she should'nt have been hit by a car in the first place.
    need tougher penalties for drivers that kill. then maybe they'd watch where they're going.
     
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  6. If the car was passing through an amber light, that would imply that the cyclist was running a red.
     
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  7. Unless you know more than is in the report you cannot make that assumption. Streetview shows a left filter lane at that junction and it is easily possible that one or other was using that. You don't even know if this is the set of lights referred to in the report.
     
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  8. I can sympathise and understand this point of view, but unfortunately I don't think it's true. Tougher penalties have never effectively deterred any kind of lawbreaking, and in the greater scheme of things, neither has more zealous enforcement.

    I don't want to put words in your mouth here, but we (as a community) need to get past the idea that the police are the answer to all these problems, because they demonstrably aren't. What has worked, throughout history, is better training and better engineering.
     
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  9. I dunno, I've spent plenty of double demerit days and non double demerit days on freeways and I have to say my observations of those around me and myself conclude that it can be pretty effective.

    My pet hate here is the stop sign enforcement. There are so many stop signs that by no means need the driver or rider to stop (there are some where stopping can make things worse), the fine is massive, and I've heard many stories of people getting pinged for rolling through at a snails pace.
     
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  10. I see more cyclists going through red lights than i do stopping for them.As for helmets reducing the amount of people riding there bikes thats just bullshit,helmets have been in that long now that most people just relise that this is the go.The ones that dont are the same as the people that dont wear seatbelts,not in the real world.They forget gutters are hard,trees are hard,cars are hard and so is the road.They are all harder than your head.I am sorry that some one has lost her life and i dont claim to be an angel myself but i feel naked if i do not have full gear on just to do a short ride.I once didnt have my boots on and just felt vunerable.I have been in the bicycle trade for more than 30 years and most peole dont like helmets but they wear them.I dont like motorcycle helmets but there is no way i would ride without one,i like my head and i dont have a spare.
     
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  11. I found the wind noise at 110kmh was just about unbearable for any sort of distance.
    I'd wear a helmet (mc) for that reason alone, (even if it was legal not to). Pushbike helmets are a joke.
    If you feel 'vulnerable' if you dont suit up to go to the shop, you need to skill up as well.
     
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  12. And over 200 km/h your sunnies start to dig into your face quite uncomfortably. Not that I'd know that from first hand experience of course :twisted:.
     
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  13. Later reports unequivocally state that she'd run the red light

    and

    had no lights at all - it's actually still dark at 6.15 am...
     
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  14. Do you know, off the top of your head, the penalties for 1) Causing minor injury to a cyclist, 2) Causing serious injury to a cyclist, and 3) Leaving a bin sitting in a designated police parking space?
     
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  15. 3 demerit points ?
     
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  16. You don't seem very confident there. You sure you want to lock that in as your answer to all three questions? Remember, your internet reputation -the most important thing in the world- hinges on this!
     
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  17. umm...
    can i phone a friend ?
     
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