Peace offer in cycle war

Kent Acott

A letter in a suburban newspaper - in which a young driver apologises for nearly killing two cyclists - has been embraced as a potential olive branch between Perth's warring motorists and bicycle riders.

The writer, Kim of Shenton Park, did not supply his full name and address because "my shame is too great".

But he revealed that as a child he lost both parents and two close friends in car accidents.

"To the bike rider in the red jacket and his companion whom I almost killed at 10am on Tuesday, September 2, at the intersection of Park Street and Clifton Street, in Nedlands: this is an apology, and to everyone else it's a warning," the letter in last week's Subiaco Post said.

"When I got in the car on Tuesday morning, I thought I was exercising this caution: I was indicating, using my mirrors and checking my blind spots.

"But my mind wandered as I drove down Clifton Street in the same way I do every day and I forgot where I was . . . and in that split second of lapsed attention I almost caused a fatal accident by driving straight through.

"I just felt overwhelmed with fear and shame that maybe that split second could have caused the sword to come crashing down on someone else's family like it has mine.

"Do not let your mind wander, or let familiarity with your surroundings make you feel confident. Every second you drive, you are holding a dangerous weapon in your hands."

Bicycling WA chief executive Jeremey Murray congratulated the writer's honesty and courage.

"The writer's story has a vital message for all road users - drivers, riders and pedestrians - and that is that we must all take responsibility, concentrate and look out for each other," Mr Murray said. "The feedback to the letter from our social media followers has been positive."

In recent months, social media and talkback radio has been full of comments from motorists and bike riders criticising each other.