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Old 04-14-08, 04:08 AM   #1
damnable
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Editorial...thoughts

Hi there,
I was just skimming through todays paper the Courier Mail and came across the editorial section.
There is an article written there which looks like I will have to type in because I can't find it online.

Share Road Responsibly
I drive a bus about 200 to 250km around Brisbane five or six days a week.
I always make sure that I give cyclists a wide berth.
Occasionally I receive a wave of thanks from a cyclist, but not very often.
However, the overtaking on the left, riding the wrong way in one-way streets, ignoring red lights, often with the legally required helmet hanging on the handlebar, does stretch the friendship with drivers.
Drivers don't hate cyclists, but they do resent their almost total disregard of the road rules, while reminding drivers of the cyclists' rights.

Published with this is the authors full name as well as their email address, which is a bit unusual.

Now I agree with the genearl gist of their statement except for the 'overtaking on the left' which is perfectly legal to do if you are a cyclist provided the vehicle you are overtaking is not turning left. Since the author left contact details, is it worth contacting them to point out their own lack of knowledge of the road rules pertaining to cyclists, especially since I agree with everything else he has said?
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Old 04-14-08, 04:30 AM   #2
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Why not? Make sure you re-check the road code before you do though. I always assumed you could only overtake on the left if the traffic was stationary.
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Old 04-14-08, 05:19 AM   #3
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Why not?
Because it's the Courier-Mail, and because it's just some uninformed, uninfluential idiot on a soap box. Basically, it's only value is a substitute when toilet paper isn't available, or maybe lining a litter tray for a cat. And as I've already said in another thread, if the author spends about five minutes counting red light runners here on the GC, he'll realise that a "total disregard for the road rules" isn't limited to cyclists.

Oh yeah, and I understand it's rule 144 of the National regs that permits overtaking on the left.
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Old 04-14-08, 05:32 AM   #4
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Just make sure you are absolutely right before you contact him.
Overtaking on the left? You mean like passing a slower vehicle on the left side?
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Old 04-14-08, 05:45 AM   #5
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Just make sure you are absolutely right before you contact him.
Overtaking on the left? You mean like passing a slower vehicle on the left side?
Australia. aka overtaking on the right for us in the US.

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Old 04-14-08, 08:50 AM   #6
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We're talking a bus here. Even though it's legal to pass a large truck using a bike lane, how many on here have suggested that it's not wise?
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Old 04-14-08, 08:59 AM   #7
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Because it's the Courier-Mail, and because it's just some uninformed, uninfluential idiot on a soap box. Basically, it's only value is a substitute when toilet paper isn't available, or maybe lining a litter tray for a cat...
unfortunately, it's these same jokers who vote for other jokers running for office that will put in place bad legislation that will discriminate and make cycling difficult for cyclists based on poor and biased information.

There will always be ignoramuses but fair and balanced information can help stem the tide of the ignorant.

Maybe if the people can be shown that cyclists are no worse than motorists and cyclists actually cause less damage and contribute to public health more than motorists do, readers can look at more constructive ways to address the problems rather than just pick out a single group of road users and blame the problems on them. Maybe the solution to the writers concern is more enforcement officers so they can stop anyone who run red lights and not just cyclists.

The real problem is, no one wants to look at their own short comings, they just want to point out everyone else's.

Last edited by closetbiker; 04-14-08 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 04-14-08, 02:36 PM   #8
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unfortunately, it's these same jokers who vote for other jokers running for office that will put in place bad legislation that will discriminate and make cycling difficult for cyclists based on poor and biased information.

There will always be ignoramuses but fair and balanced information can help stem the tide of the ignorant.

Maybe if the people can be shown that cyclists are no worse than motorists and cyclists actually cause less damage and contribute to public health more than motorists do, readers can look at more constructive ways to address the problems rather than just pick out a single group of road users and blame the problems on them. Maybe the solution to the writers concern is more enforcement officers so they can stop anyone who run red lights and not just cyclists.

The real problem is, no one wants to look at their own short comings, they just want to point out everyone else's.
Ask yourself one simple question -- how many times have you changed your own opinion on an issue on the basis of reading a "letter to the editor" in a newspaper? How many people on this board have changed their opinions on the issues discussed here after reading a post here? Or one of the many pieces of "media commentary" that get posted here? How many people here have you convinced with your helmet arguments?

The fact is, people won't change their mind, and the editors of these tabloids know this. They sell newspapers not by "educating" people with new prejudices, but by appealing to their existing ones. In other words, the only people who take this article seriously will be people who already believe it, or people with enough free time and enough boredom to feel like an argument. Nobody is going to change their mind on the basis of a "letter to the editor" or an "editorial", even if you do point out a point of law.

The best thing to do with articles like this is to ignore them completely. When the editor finds that it didn't generate any response, or any newspapers sales, didn't have the "impact" they were looking for, they'll simply find someone else to troll, and the issue won't come up again.
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Old 04-14-08, 03:38 PM   #9
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There's a reason people try to get an article or editorial in a newspaper. They influence thought and positions. Ads do too.

I know that I read to get new ideas and learn. A newspapers primary job is to sell and they do a lot of non-productive muck raking to do this, but the introduction of a new idea or controversial position can stimulate further learning in other mediums where the depth of understanding can be enhanced.

Sometimes it seems thought hasn't progressed, but if you look back a bit you can see it really has.

I've read stories, columns, editorials and letters that have changed my mind or at least had me look on the issue in a new light. It's not unlike coming here. You read a thread, chew the fat, give it some thought and sometimes, you pick up a new perspective or find new information you hadn't considered previously and find the time spent here was worth it.

Recently, after the province of Saskatchewan rejected a helmet law, the lobby turned to municipal by-laws and managed have a motion made at city council for a new by-law for mandatory helmet use. Information presented in the paper on both sides of the issue was used by the public at a public hearing on the by-law proposal and the council rejected the proposed law due to public input that was sharply opposed to the law due to the information on the topic that was printed in the paper. Council was surprised the public felt so strongly on the issue. It was a far cry from the information previously printed in the paper that said helmets reduce brain injury by 88%. Maybe the extra information printed in the paper changed some peoples minds.

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Old 04-14-08, 03:48 PM   #10
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You know when I've run my informational booth for the club the past several years - I've had drivers (non-bicyclists) come up to me with some of the same concerns and I've always responded that just like drivers - there are bicyclists who disobey the rules - and unfortunately many drivers those bicyclists (blow lights, etc etc) - like my ex-boyfriend, ahem, are the norm. And I correct and tell him how a correct group ride takes place, how we stop, signal etc. And that yes there is a group in my area who do not adhere to NYS traffic rules. And that it's these and other people who make it worse for people like me and the majority of my club and people I ride with - because we're grouped in with the people who don't obey the law.

And yes, I do speak up when I run into one of the other groups of bicycles - riding 4 across, meandering back and forth - finally moving over slowly when a car behind them beeps. They ruin it for me and other bicyclists who expect to be treated as a vehicle on the road.
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Old 04-15-08, 09:26 AM   #11
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Never pass a bus on the left (US right) due to the nature of buses pulling over to discharge/pick up passengers.
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