Fair to say in the last 72 hours there’s been an avalanche of comment and debate resulting from the shocking bike/car incidents in Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide in recent days – not to mention Monday’s taxi dooring in Melbourne.
Social media trolls aside, if anything good is to come of these incidents, here’s the thing. It’s great to like a blog post. It’s great to comment constructively on FB. It’s great to retweet a link or share it with your family, friends and colleagues.
But it’s much much better to do something before we all just pick up from where we left off before hitting the sack on Saturday night. Or we’ll be having exactly the same debate again and again and again, as more people lie in hospital beds – or graves.
Be you a road cyclist, commuter, motorist, jogger, pedestrian, cabbie, courier, bus driver, truckie, taxi passenger, delivery driver, politician, business owner, dog walker, skateboarder or even that legendary penny farthing guy up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney – it simply doesn’t matter. We can all do something. We must all do something.
Have you sent a letter or email to your State politician, Transport Minister or Premier demanding some form of action or, at the very least, a statement? Contacted your local newspaper or radio station? Signed the Amy Gillett One Metre Matters petition or made a donation? Joined your local bicycle advocacy group? Asked your cycling club how you can help them spread the message of cycling safety to the wider community? Talked to your non-riding workmates about why we often ride two abreast, then listened to their perspective? Considered doing a bike skills or road awareness course? Kept your hands off your mobile phone whilst behind the wheel (or handle bars for that matter)? Checked your ride route to make sure it’s the safest one for where you’re going? Talked to your kids about road safety, or even better shown them? Looked before flinging open your car door? Checked that your lights are working properly now that the mornings and evenings are getting darker (cars and bikes)? Stopped at that red light you sometimes run if you’re in a hurry (cars and bikes)?
There must be hundreds if not thousands of things we can do. Little things. And, yes, big things. But collectively they’re all important things. And if we ever want things to change, we need to do them. Then keep doing them.
So, what will you do today to make the roads that little bit safer? And what will you do tomorrow? And the next day……?