I’m sorry Ruth, but blaming the victim (thankfully who was left uninjured) may be an anger management technique (when filed under “do not send”), however when you are undertaking on the inside on a curve without visibility beyond the corner you need to take a good look at your driving habits. I note that you were never willing to concede your position as the “at fault” party in conversations with representatives of the Amy Gillette foundation and acted petulantly when pressed on that point.
Let’s dissect your article shall we?
1. You were travelling at 60km/h on a three lane highway (note that a 60km/h limit for a highway would indicate that it is in an area with a rather large amount of turn on/turn off traffic etc), decided to change lanes deeming it safe, when it was around a corner you claimed prevented you from seeing the bicycle who, rightfully, was riding in the centre of the lane to prevent drivers from sideswiping them when pushing past. If it was a “split second” with a “slight curve” that prevented you from having visibility of traffic I would suggest that it was *not* safe.
2. 15-20km/h (your guess, though I would suggest it may have been 15-35km/h unless you were on a steep uphill) would give a difference in speed from your 60km/h of 40-45km/h. The AFP give a stopping distance at 50km/h of 15m after a reaction time of 1.5s increasing the distance to around 35m (http://www.police.act.gov.au/roads-and-traffic/speeding/stopping-distances-explained.aspx ). So you had to slam on the brakes, after overtaking on a corner that caused you to not have visibility to do it safely, to stop within around 35m. This would have been the same for a parked car (60km/h relative speed) at 45m. Further, you don’t “…suddenly gain…” on a rider at that distance at that speed.
3. Anecdotal commentary about another driver changing lanes without looking ahead for hazards and causing an accident on a multilane road doesn’t support your case.
4. Your second anecdotal story regarding Bondi Road is, once again, an instance of a driver not understanding their responsibilities (similar to drivers not realising that a pedestrian already crossing has rights at an intersection http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/usingroads/roadrules/index.html). The bike rider is within his/her rights. While it was stupid to do so without looking, they do have right of way as the flow through traffic. If they’re “flying” then they’ve evidently got space (lane or otherwise) to travel - however, like vehicles crossing an intersection at speed, should slow down so they can do so safely. I’d be interested to discover which Bondi Road traffic lights your friend was referring to (especially given the prevalence of drains that catch tyres).
Common sense works for both sides. When you’re in the fault, don’t act like you are entitled to blame the other person, cop it on the chin like a mature adult and learn from it.
I ride daily, and see transgressions by both motorists and cyclists. I implore cyclists to do the right thing, but it’s a two way street - the entitled mentality that underlies this entire article has to take a step back, particularly as the safety of those around you is at stake. It’s the same reason why there is such a massive response to incidents involving heavy vehicles against passenger vehicles - the consequences of poor oversight is devastating.
Come ride with us, cycle on our pedals, understand how a cyclist operates. We’ve learnt to understand those driving motor vehicles - act as though they can’t see you is the driving mentality cyclists must adopt, as a precautionary principle, and is the reason why cyclists “take the lane” instead of encouraging drivers to sideswipe us (despite your view that we are treading on your entitlements to the lane).