Suncorp survey finds drivers think roads are too dangerous for cyclists
MORE than one in three drivers has had a close call with a cyclist and 6 per cent have collided with a rider, a survey shows.
The findings from a Suncorp survey to be released today follow comments from Tour de France winner Cadel Evans.
Evans was in Brisbane this week and complained about "nasty" drivers.
He said riders chose to hit the streets early to avoid conflict with car drivers.
Suncorp spokesman Duncan Bone said the survey showed about four out of five Brisbane motorists believed roads were dangerous for cyclists.
"This likely stems from recognition of cyclists being the most vulnerable road users, and a lack of trust on both sides," Mr Bone said.
"In any accident the cyclist always loses and taking this into consideration is an additional stress for drivers."
The research found 86 per cent of Queensland motorists reported having seen cyclists breaking the law or riding dangerously and 70 per cent believed drivers need to pay more attention to cyclists.
Bicycle Queensland general manager Ben Wilson said it was unfortunate Evans had had a bad experience while riding in Brisbane.
He said it was not uncommon for cyclists to have negative experiences on the road.
"He might have had a pretty ordinary experience and sadly a lot of people do have them, whether they are riding bicycles or driving," he said.
"It's not the first time I've heard that, I heard that about almost every state in Australia."
An online poll by The Courier-Mail this week asked readers whether cyclists should pay registration. It found most of those polled agreed. More than 3000 people lodged their votes and nearly 59 per cent said cyclists should pay registration with the rest disagreeing.
Cyclist Natasha Georgios, 40, from Morningside, in Brisbane's east, said drivers could improve their habits and show more respect to cyclists.
"I think some of the behaviour from car drivers could improve," she said.
"I think if they cycled themselves they might have a better appreciation."
Triathlete Brad Welch, 39, from Upper Kedron, in Brisbane's north, blamed infrastructure for bad behaviour on roads.
"I can understand the frustrations of drivers because of the way a lot of roads are built - like with the older roads - the infrastructure is not there and there are no shoulders to ride on," he said.
"There are not enough dedicated bike lanes."
Some confusion exists over what bike rules apply in Queensland, but cyclists of any age are permitted to ride on footpaths. They must however, give way to pedestrians.
Cyclists are also permitted to ride two abreast.
They can reach up to four cyclists abreast if a pair is overtaking another pair.
RULES FOR RIDERS
* All cyclists in Queensland are permitted to ride on footpaths unless there is a "NO BICYCLES" sign.
* Cyclists are permitted to ride two abreast and can reach up to four cyclists abreast if a pair is overtaking another pair.
* Ride within 1.5m of the other rider if riding two abreast.
* Ride as close to the left side of the road as possible.
* Cyclists are not permitted to ride across a pedestrian crossing; they must dismount from their bike.