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Abuse sparks concern for cyclists

Clive Peters . . . concerned for the next generation of road cyclists. PHOTO/FILE

JAKE BELESKI

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Cyclist Clive Peters is adamant he would never go out on the road with the intention of annoying his fellow road users.

But Mr Peters has been verbally abused for ‘taking the lane’ in different situations, and fears for the next generation of cyclists.

Taking the lane is when a cyclist moves towards the centre of a lane to keep themselves safe.

It often happens when they are approaching a roundabout, turning right at an intersection, when the road is narrow, and when cars are parked on the left side of the road.

He said the issue wasn’t the general attitude of motorists towards cyclists, but simply a lack of education.

“My thoughts are if I was on a scooter, or a small car that couldn’t go fast, would they do the same thing?

“I’m not a disgruntled cyclist — I just feel motorists are uneducated as to why cyclists do some of these things.”

If motorists knew why cyclists sometimes had to take the lane it would improve their understanding of certain situations, he said.

His main concern was that young children were being taught taking the lane was the right thing to do in those situations, yet some motorists seemed to disagree.

“If children go out on the road and a motorist reacts angrily, even when they’ve been taught that they’re allowed to do that, what’s going to happen to those children?”

Mr Peters said he would often take the lane to look out for his own personal safety, and to deter drivers from making mistakes that could have dire consequences for him.

The worst part is in town when there are lots of vehicles on the side of the road, and “road furniture”, where concrete medians come out into the cycle way or parking area, he said.

The road code makes it clear there are situations where the only option a cyclist has is to take the lane, and making motorists aware of this was his number one priority.

“Even if we make just one motorist aware, it all helps.

“This is what kids are being taught, and they are the next generation of riders.”

He said no cyclists did things intentionally to annoy motorists, but they were human, and made decisions for their safety.

“All we ask is to respect our decisions and actions for the reasons they are intended, not perceived,” he said.

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