New regulations regarding cyclists have been introduced in South Australia that has caused much frustration amongst car drivers with an unhealthy "them" versus "us" discussion on news and social
As a motorist, I enjoy an uninterrupted journey as much as anyone else and I will get frustrated if I encounter any disruptions whilst driving. However just like we tolerate roadworks, heavy traffic, slow moving vehicles as inevitable we must consider cyclists in the same category.
So then what are the real reasons to get frustrated when disrupted while driving?
"Dumb" Traffic Lights
The world is full of smart technology and I very much appreciate the role that traffic lights play in regulating normal traffic, but why is so much time taken waiting at a red light when there is
no traffic at all? I could take a holiday in Bali with the amount of time wasted spent at a red light to turn onto War Memorial Drive from Montefiore Road when there has been no traffic on
Again Traffic Lights and this problem is not associated with peak hour. Bad sequencing is when there is a clear road way but a red light, and then a blocked road way when the lights turn green.
Try to access Grote Street From Wakefield Street at any time and you will understand.
Motorists driving through a Red or Yellow Traffic Light when there is another vehicle waiting to turn right ahead of them
Stupidity and a major cause of road traffic accidents.
Slower driving vehicles not slowing further down to assist other vehicles to overtake in an overtaking lane
On country roads I understand vehicles traveling well below the speed limit, but why do they speed up when there is an overtaking lane on their right?
Inability of drivers to merge
Several versions of this. Firstly, motorists do not allow a change of lanes on a dual lane roadway. Secondly, where 2 lanes merge into one with drivers in the major line not inclined to
Drivers using their brakes before using their indicators when turning
Motorists have forgotten what indicators are used for. This de sensitization is from trying to use them when changing lanes and finding that any possible gap is immediately shut down.
Restricted Speed Zones in RoadWork Areas when there are no workers and no obstructions
How often are signs are not changed when RoadWorkers finish in the afternoon?
Road Traffic Penalties that are too high for trifling matters and too low for significant
Trifling incidents can incur big penalties while life threatening acts are only a few dollars more. This would have nothing to do with revenue raising.
Lack of Smart Traffic Hardware that increases Road Safety
Outside of South Australia, there is traffic hardware that takes motorists who are speed creeping and will stop them. This system will allow them to travel faster if they drive slower! These are seen on country roads with 80-100km/h speed limits before passing through a township. This is a win/win/loss. Win for safety, win for education, loss for revenue raising.
There are many situations on the road that can cause frustration. Frustrations with cyclists should be viewed in the context of the bigger picture.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robert Gaggini is founder of Adelaide Cycling Academy and owner of Infuga Retreat. As a cycling coach Robert brings years of experience to a wide range of Cycling Activities.
Winner of multiple cycle races including Mt Gambier 100mile classic 2005, and Alphutte 2003, (4th in 2012). Participant in a variety of endurance events including Paris-Brest-Paris, and is a 40km per day commuter for over 20years.
If you require any assistance with training plans, cycle coaching or if you just want to ride faster, Robert is happy to assist.