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Neil Mitchell’s clash with a 'silly, silly cyclist'
NEIL MITCHELL: For a moment yesterday I could sympathise with Shane Warne and Rex Hunt.
They both had nasty and silly road rage incidents with cyclists and I came across what I believe was my own fully-fledged idiot.
I was turning left off Collins Street, out of the Docklands, waiting for pedestrians and as I started to move off suddenly a cyclist came along on my inside and passed me, turning left on the inside.
I saw him at the last minute, swerved a little and on he went.
As I went past I gave him the sign of a few centimetres, that’s how close it was, just a 'That was close mate'.
I stopped at the next lights and he caught up. He belted on my window of the car. I wound it down. He started going on.
I told him he had passed on the inside, which was stupid and dangerous.
He obviously recognised me because I don’t know him, He called me Neil.
'That’ll teach you to look out for cyclists' he said and off he rode.
Well mate... if I hadn’t been alert you would have been on the ground. And if you keep passing people on the inside like that, close to the back of the car, you WILL end up on the ground.
It is also not a good idea to pull up to anybody at the lights and start belting on the car window. That can bring any sort of reaction.
What he did was smart, arrogant and wrong.
He was very proud of himself as he rode off down the road. He had made a point to me but he risked serious injury doing it.
And he broke the law. He is an idiot.
Bicycle riders are legally entitled to overtake other slower moving or stationary motor vehicles on their left.
The onus is on the left turning vehicle driver to ensure that it is safe to do so, and ensure that other road users are not impeded or put in danger.
Vehicles are of course fitted with mirrors for this purpose.
It would appear that Neil Mitchell did not check to see if it was safe to turn left without putting the cyclist in danger. It happens all the time.
Cyclists are classed as vehicles, legitimate road users, and motorists are required to share the road with them.
Mr Mitchell would do well to distance himself from his quoted hotheads Hunt and Warne.David Lewis Monday 7 January, 2013 - 6:38 PM
Thank you Al, I believe you are quite passionate about your hobby/necessity/need, and believe what you are posting. Sorry, but my posts have been based on both the point of this column, and my experience with other posters that are similar: Coming up on the left of a left turning vehicle; Yes, I've seen it. Running red lights; Yes, I've seen it. Lack of common sense on the road; yes, I've seen it. My main concern is that many bicycle riders regard themselves as being inviolate and without fault. Sorry, it doesn't work.David T. Wednesday 19 December, 2012 - 6:52 PM
@Gulia Jillard; You make as much sense as your (almost) namesake. How could a driver give way to every single cyclist, when the movements of so many are erratic, random, illegal and nonsensical. All that drivers can do is obey the current rules, hope that bike riders will do the same and try to forecast the actions of those riders who may not. That is a part of "Road Sense" and should be what we all adhere to.David T. Tuesday 18 December, 2012 - 5:29 PM
How do you feel about the 1300 deaths caused by cars each year?
Is the outrage more than the 1 person killed by a bike rider since 2000. In the same period over 1,000 people have been killed by / in cars and over 100 cyclists in Victoria in the same period.
You also seem to show contempt and disrespect for bike riders without evening knowing them and then wonder why they behavior in the same manner to you. In order to earn respect one must first give it.Stevie Tuesday 18 December, 2012 - 2:21 PM
I am not been defensive about bike behaviour, I am being honest. Are there some bike riders that break the law, Yes. Are bike rider unique in breaking the law. NO. You expect that bike riders should adhere to the letter of the law and in this case even when your interurptation of the law is wrong you stick by it. You are the one in the Kangaroo Court.
Both of you need to get a grip and look at the facts and anser one question.
Do some bike riders behave like some car drivers in that they pick and choose when they adhere to the law. The answer is yes, but for some reason you single out bike riders yet ignore the group that kills 1200 noationally each year whislt tlaking about the 1 cycling caused death in the past 12 years. A tab hypocritical and unbalcnaced.
And Jan you now comment on social behaviour of being rude, selfish arrogant etc and pretend that these are unique to bike riders. Do some have this attitude? No doubt but this would simply mirror society and certainly can be attrubuted to cars drivers aswell but you pretned tht this is not true. Like any group they will be a subset of society yet you ignore this and continue with your rubbish.
Bike riders are people too.
Time to show some empathy instead of hate.Al Tuesday 18 December, 2012 - 2:17 PM
@Jan; Don't pay any attention to Al's posts. They carry as much validity as those of a "Bush Lawyer" in a "Kangaroo Court". As I suggested in an earlier post; some bike riders, when being defensive about their actions, are very selective about the "rules" they quote and about the "facts" they state.David T. Tuesday 18 December, 2012 - 9:59 AM