In 2014, bicycles sold 1.4 million units, whereas cars sold 1.1 million; that’s 7.1 million new wheels on the roads. With this in mind, there are numerous ways that all types of road users can be courteous towards each other, ensuring that both motorists and cyclists can travel safely.
President of the Australian Cycle Alliance, Edward Hore, says negative perceptions of both cyclists and road users would be helped if both sides realise that the ‘hate’ only comes from the minority. Hore points out that, “most people support riding, they either know someone that rides or ride themselves.”Mr. Hore advises good riders to not be apologists for other road users doing the wrong thing, advising riders to speak up, saying “If you ride within the law, just say that”.
Looking out for a fellow ‘wheeler’ isn’t about cars always giving way to cyclists, or cyclists having to ride in the gutter. Rather, it revolves around demonstrating a mutual respect for each other while on the road. This notion is reinforced in the graphic below, which aims demonstrate ways in which both drivers and cyclists can do this. Feann Torr, journalist from motoring.com.au, told Comparethemarket.com.au, “The responsibility of safety falls to all road users – respect and education is paramount for those sharing the road space, both drivers and riders need to support each other.”
The commitment to changing the attitudes of road users has also been reflected in various State and Federal Government initiatives, for example Victoria’s recent campaign, “Travel Happy”. Within this campaign, organisers suggest that “a wave is a simple and effective way to communicate on the road. Whether it’s saying thank you or sorry when you muck up, you’ll win friends with this humble gesture.”
So, regardless if you have four wheels or two, looking out for others on the road can only be a good thing. Christopher Jones from Bicycles Network Australia reinforced this message, by saying that “roads connect us to our destination and to other road users. Let’s make a great connection.”