At Cycliq, our mission is to increase awareness of road safety through the addition of cameras and lights on bikes.
Let us introduce Rusty from Ashburton, Victoria. He has experienced some close calls on his rides in Melbourne. The CBD is notoriously bad for close calls and impatient drivers, and the Victorian country roads have thin shoulders and fast, dangerous drivers.
In December 2022, Rusty and his peloton were involved in a collision with a motor vehicle, resulting in his bike under the car.
“I was advised the following day that the driver had been charged.”
“Our group was riding the Great Alpine Road near Dinner Plain last year, coincidentally some 30 minutes after a rider was killed in a hit and run on same road – driver travelling too fast, over a crest, hit cyclist from behind.”
With all of this in mind, Rusty always rides with Cycliq front and rear cameras.
Why do you record your ride?
I do use the footage from time to time for purely recreational reasons; creating ride videos, particularly for events or scenic group rides.
When do you feel most vulnerable as a cyclist?
Busy city traffic – where there is insufficient cycling space or inadequate bike lanes.
Typically our riding group avoid high traffic, poor cycling routes – instead choosing rides with light traffic, multiple lanes, good road shoulders and/or bike lanes.
Single carriageway country roads – while these have less traffic and offer great scenery, they often have no or poor road shoulders, carry cars and trucks travelling 100kmh, often have poor visibility for the driver approaching the rider or bunch from the rear due to curves, trees etc.
Our group was riding Great Alpine Road, near Dinner Plain last year some 30 minutes after a rider was killed in a hit and run on same road – driver travelling too fast, over a crest, hit him from behind.
What do you think are the most important things that can be done to improve safety for cyclists on the road?
- Increase separation from cars on the road – especially in high traffic areas; dedicated bike lanes, good road shoulders, sensible traffic lights.
- Encourage enforcement of minimum 1m passing distance, including fines.
- Publication or promotion of infringements and fines would also add to awareness.
For example in St Kilda, Victoria there is a dedicated bike lane BUT both cars and bikes get a green light allowing cars to return left across the dedicated bike lane. I was almost hit as I went across this intersection and a car decided to turn left. This could be fixed by bike and car specific traffic signals.
If reported, what was the reporting process?
“In Victoria, Australia you have to register the incident at the applicable local Police Station, which I did by phone on the evening of the accident. The car stopped and I swapped details with the driver. My riding group took lots of photos of the location including the bike under car etc. And of course I had the Cycliq footage. In the Police phone interview I advised all the details and that I had photos and video footage of the incident. I shared those with the Police via e-mail. The Police created an incident report and provided me with an Incident number. I was advised the following day that the driver had been charged. I didn’t get the details of the charge.”
“I believe the footage, post crash still photos, positive identification of the driver (licence etc) made it very easy for the Police to charge the driver – especially given the relatively recent establishment of the 1 metre laws in Victoria.”
What is your advice for other cyclists?
- Riding on roads is dangerous – minimise the risk by avoiding high traffic, low cycle space routes.
- Use dedicated bike lanes and bike paths – where possible and practical.
- Plan your route – choose low traffic, multi lane, good shoulder routes where possible and practical.
- Ride in a group – ride ‘cyclist routes’ (well known high volume of cyclists) as drivers are more likely to expect cyclists on those routes.
- Avoid traffic surfing – squeezing in between lanes, parked cars, etc.
- If you’re cycling on the road you are in a dangerous environment – treat it that way. Driver behaviour does need to change, but it will take a long time…
- Make sure you have a camera on bike front and rear – you never know when it will be helpful for an accident report or insurance claim.
Ready to Ride Safer?
Protect yourself and capture your cycling experiences like never before!