Saturday, July 26, 2014

Cycling Negligence Duty of Care “Making it easier for people to take up riding“ Comment by Pete Dowe Community Safety

This Blog strongly opposes certain reforms

VicRoads is currently considering:

“under one suggested reform, 

cyclists could be allowed to treat red lights as Give Way signs. 
And the same could also APPLY  at pedestrian lights."   

Also
"PERMITTING cyclists, riding cautiously, to proceed past a stationary tram;"

"ALLOWING all riders to use the footpath, provided that they give way to pedestrians."

Herald Sun 12.9.14






I argue that the “Victorian Government Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure


"has a duty of care to ensure that reasonable action is taken to minimise the risk of harm to anyone who is reasonably likely to be affected by the department's activities.”


I argue that the Victorian Government Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure

“may be found to be negligent where a failure to take reasonable care results in some injury or loss.”




policy of  “making it easier for people to take up riding” 

may be Negligent.



“Cyclists who break the law are much more likely to be killed or seriously injured”

Bicycle Victoria’s Report into Cycle Deaths in Victoria (2002).



Therefore it matters very much how you take up riding.


I argue that “Making it easier for people to take up riding“ 

also “Makes it easier for people to take up riding without a set of bike lights."



Cycling behaviour cannot be a cycling safety issue while the goal is to

“make it easier for people to take up riding”


Cycling behaviour as a cycling safety issue is outside the terms of reference of

“making it easier for people to take up riding”


Therefore preventable deaths and serious injuries caused by the cyclist

being responsible for the accident 

are neglected and ignored.



If they do not involve motorist wrongdoing,

they are the "wrong kind" of preventable deaths and serious injuries.


One might well ask: 

"What are the right  #$#%&!&  kind of preventable deaths and serious injuries!!!?


This "body count" of cyclists responsible for their (and others) preventable road trauma

is mounting.




“make it easier for people to take up riding”

it is then politically incorrect for cycling behaviour to be a cycling safety issue.


And anything can then be deemed a disincentive to

“making it easier for people to take up riding”


including fundamental road safety measures:such as risk reduction behaviour,


and the responsibility to show a duty of care to one’s own safety as well as to other road users.


The dogma of the goal to increase cycling participation by 

“making it easier for people to take up riding”

is that it dictates we must have unsafe cycling or people won’t cycle.


So for instance unsafe helmet-less cycling has been put forward by the 

Freestyle Cycling Campaign as a means of boosting participation.


If one finds the helmet requirement can be deemed too onerous,

one wonders which other cyclists’ responsibilities could not be deemed a prohibitive disincentive

to “making it easier for people to take up riding”?

The Freestyle Cycling campaign also deems the requirement to wear a helmet a disincentive to cycling participation 

because it reminds people of the risks of death, truncation of life and serious injury.

Remaining ignorant as to the risks involved in cycling has therefore also been put forward as a 

means of “making it easier for people to take up riding”.


The policy of “making it easier for people to take up riding” rationalises:

“The health benefits of cycling such as a more active lifestyle and better fitness far outweigh 

the risks of death or injury from crashes” 

Bicycle Network Victoria


In other words “don’t worry about it, she’ll be right mate”


This is a cavalier approach to the risk of preventable death, truncation of life and serious injury.


“Cyclists who break the law are much more likely to be killed or seriously injured”

Bicycle Victoria’s Report into Cycle Deaths in Victoria (2002).



The policy of “making it easier for people to take up riding”

therefore conflicts with Victoria's Cycling Strategy.


It does not “encourage safe and respectful behaviours from all road users” nor does it

ensure bike riders and other road users have appropriate rights and responsibilities.”


“Making it easier for people to take up riding” is therefore also in conflict

with the Victoria Police “Road to Zero” Road Toll campaign.


“Making it easier for people to take up riding” also conflicts 

with the key objective of the cycling participation policy

which is increased health and fitness and increased life span 

through the reputed benefits of aerobic exercise.


The health and fitness objective is however undermined where the means of aerobic exercise 
is unsafe.



Unsafe travel, unsafe exercise, unsafe cycling behaviour 


which increases the risk of preventable death, truncation of life and serious injury.



I argue “Making it easier for people to take up riding”  

encourages people to participate in road usage 

without an informed choice as to the risks 



and in a manner in which they are unprepared



and ignorant of risk reduction behaviour, which affects the safety of all road users.



I argue  “Making it easier for people to take up riding” 

encourages people to participate in road usage in a manner in which 


they are much more likely to be killed or seriously injured, 


which affects the safety of all road users.



I argue that the Victorian Government

Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure



“may be found to be negligent where a failure to take 

reasonable care results in some injury or loss.”



Pete Dowe
Road Safety Advocate


http://petedoweroadsafetyadvocate.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/cycling-bike-lights-police-intercept-50.html


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