Video of car knocking man off bike sparks vitriol and threats to cyclists

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Video of car knocking man off bike sparks vitriol and threats to cyclists

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VIDEO: Cyclist knocked off bike in Brisbane (ABC News)

A bicycle advocate group says it is shocked and unsettled by the response to a video showing a driver running straight into a cyclist from behind.

Key points:

  • The footage was released to boost understanding of the risks cyclists face on the road
  • But it sparked a blowback on social media
  • Bicycle Queensland says the worst comments are from an extreme fringe

Bicycle Queensland released the video as part of its White Helmet campaign to heal the rift between drivers and cyclists.

It shows cyclist Geoffrey James riding on a multi-lane road approaching an intersection and pedalling towards the sun, when a white car rapidly approaches from behind and crashes into him.

Mr James, lying on the road, then calls out for someone to “call the ambos, call the cops.”

The driver approaches Mr James and pleads with him, repeatedly offering him money.

“I’m really sorry man, I’ll pay you,” the driver says.

“Please man, I’m running late for work…nothing happened man, I’ll pay you.”

‘Hahaha die cyclists die’

The footage, posted on Facebook, drew plenty of comments, many of which were critical of cyclists — some even violent.

“Hahaha die cyclists die hahaha the middle of the lane is not your domain,” Nicholas Trace posted on the Courier-Mail Facebook page.

Others implied the cyclist was at fault.

“I don’t think anyone needs anymore human decency in regards to this incident. The dead shit bike rider needed some common sense that’s the issue here. Guarantee this idiot was riding in the middle of the road holding everyone up in peak hour,” Brett Buckley wrote.

Kahn Sheenan suggested cyclists use the footpath rather than the road.

“I’m so over cyclists and their abusive crap because people disagree with them. Grow up and use some common sense. It is not illegal in QLD to ride on the footpath, so if it is dangerous and there is no bike lane ride on the footpath… simple,” he wrote.

‘Unsettling and shocking to say the least’

Bicycle Queensland chief executive Anne Savage said the response to the video was stunning.

“The blowback from the extreme fringe has been quite surprising, unsettling and shocking to say the least,” Ms Savage said.

“Some of the negativity that we’re seeing is really just an example of an extreme fringe and is not representative of the majority or their view on this.

“But it does demonstrate very clearly that the issue we have called out is real and dedicated strategies are needed to address it.”

Ms Savage said Bicycle Queensland was determined to continue the campaign.

“The evidence is clear, Queenslanders want to get on their bikes — we need the whole community to support us in making that happen,” she said.

“In relation to cycling, serious injury crashes have been increasing by 8 per cent every year, leaving hundreds of cyclists severely traumatised by the experience.”

The White Helmet campaign encourages riders who want to show they are committed to sharing the road, obeying the law and respecting fellow road users to fix a piece of white fabric or a white label to their bicycle or clothing.

Mr James said he was not pleased by the response to the footage.

“The video has sparked a lot of division in the community, even between some cyclists,” Mr James said.

But he will continue cycling, and respecting motorists.

“I don’t hold any grudges against motorists as long as they show the respect cyclists are entitled to.”

Topics: road-transportcyclingdriver-educationroadaccidentsinternet-culturehuman-interestqldaustralia

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132 comments
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Bub

Our road rules require every road user to exercise due care, consideration, respect, courtesy and common sense to navigate the road safely.

We are also required to constantly scan the road ALL around to be aware of what other road users are doing and to drive/ride/walk accordingly to the prevailing road conditions.

The video shows that neither the driver of the car, nor the cyclist was exercising due care and common sense at the time of the accident.

Yes the Lion’s share of blame resides with the car driver, but the cyclist chose to ride near the middle of the lane, in a terrible low sun on the horizon situation, in peak hour traffic on a busy Brisbane road.

Was the cyclist really exercising due care, common sense and riding in accordance with the prevailing conditions?

I don’t think so.

It is simplistic to say that the cyclist was totally blameless on this occasion.

TheBlackSwan

@Bub Its impossible to tell from the camera angle.  What we can say is the driver did not see the guy on the bike. He drove into him. If you are rear ended it is always the person behind deemed responsible. In this case the sun may mitigate that responsibility somewhat but the fault lays with the driver of the car. Nice try though.

leftnut

From memory the chap lying on the ground in the last photo was cut off by the red car at an intersection so he retaliated by braking its windscreen with his fist. He was then run over while trying to escape the driver in the red car.

MickieN

I’m surprised with the number of comments wondering why the guy was “in the middle of the road”.

If you continue to watch the video it is very clear that the left lane was turning and he intended to go straight.

Bub

@MickieN

I suggest watch it again mate – The cyclist was very near the middle of the lane that was going straight ahead.

Got it now?

Car drivers who are so mentally unstable that they lose control when having to drive slowly behind other road users occasionally are obviously not fit to drive on the roads.