Debate rages over common cyclist gripe: 'NEVER SEEN'

A seemingly simple road rules question about cyclists using pedestrian crossings has sparked confusion online, while angering those who believe it to be wrong.

Queensland Transport and Main Roads asked readers whether cyclists need to dismount while using a pedestrian crossing.

Some people suggested cyclists need to get off their bikes and walk across.

“Dismount. It's called a ‘pedestrian crossing’ for a reason,” one man wrote.

Another man agreed but “you never see them dismount”.

However, this is incorrect. Cyclists can ride across pedestrian crossings provided they do four things: come to a complete stop first, proceed slowly and safely, give way to any pedestrian on the crossing and keep to the left of any oncoming bike riders.

A cyclist is pictured preparing to use a pedestrian crossing.
Can the cyclist ride across the pedestrian crossing or do they need to dismount? Source: Queensland Transport and Main Roads

Regardless of the transport department’s explanation of the rule, people still took exception and complained about cyclists.

Facebook users challenge rule

“Unfortunately I say no. Riders are flying onto crossings. No chance for drivers to stop,” one man wrote.

Another man wrote that when people are on the pedals they are not pedestrians any more.

“Bike riders are allowed to ignore traffic signals so why should they dismount,” another said.

One man wrote “it’s called a pedestrian crossing for a reason”.

Attitudes towards cyclists, in Australia at least, have always been poor.

A survey by the Royal Automobile Association earlier this year found 81 per cent of South Australian cyclists have been cut off while on the road while 65 per cent have had a door opened directly in front of them, The Australian reported.

About 39 per cent claimed they had been thrown off their bike.

A survey released by Ford Australia in 2018 found about one in five drivers have expressed road rage against cyclists.

The survey asked 2000 drivers about their attitudes towards cyclists on the road, The Guardian reported. It found road rage was highest in the 18-34 age group who said they had sworn, honked their horn or made hand gestures to passing cyclists.

It also found 70 per cent of drivers believed that cyclists were to blame when being involved in accidents.

In an opinion piece published in The Courier-Mail in 2018, Anne Savage, the then-chief executive of Bicycle Queensland, said 20 per cent of Queensland cyclists found the “main barrier” to cyclists hitting the road “is fear of traffic”.

“They’re scared of drivers,” Ms Savage said.

“What we’re really calling for is for safe behaviours both on the part of cyclists and drivers … greater awareness and much greater vigilance.”

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