The festering war between some motorists and cyclists on the state’s roads has gone up a notch with Bicycle Queensland urging more mini cameras to be fixed on bikes.
The group believes greater use of cameras could help gather evidence against dangerous drivers, but the move has met resistance from the peak motorist lobby group.
RACQ has warned the campaign could inflame tensions between cyclists and drivers and have the opposite effect on safety.
Anne Savage from Bicycle Queensland said the call was aimed at achieving fair outcomes for cyclists and greater road-rule compliance and comes after recent high-profile incidents on the state’s roads.
“We receive hundreds of complaints every year from riders who feel like the law has failed them, particularly when it comes to close passing,” she said.
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The campaign also involves McInnes Wilson Lawyers and requires riders to register to take part. It will include advice on the best types of cameras and how to install them.
“Their footage will be posted on a closed Facebook site,” Ms Savage said. “Lawyers will examine it and provide informal advice to people who are sharing the videos.
“We’ve been in regular discussion with the police and they understand as we do that there are issues and they too have problems using camera material as evidence.”
Because the quality of video footage can often be a problem in terms of prosecuting drivers, bike riders are being advised to have two cameras installed, one on the front of the bike and another on the back.
Ms Savage said the campaign, launched on Thursday, had already garnered widespread support.
“It’s not great that we’re at this point, but our sense is that it sends a really clear signal to everybody on our roads that we need to change the way we think about driving – cyclists have a right to be on the road.”
The animosity of some drivers to cyclists can been seen on social media posts, with even a recent film of a cyclist being knocked out by a kangaroo attracting derogatory comments about the cyclist’s role in the incident.
‘This could set back cycling safety’
Steve Spalding from the RACQ said he had serious concerns about the campaign.
“I think there is a real potential this will create division and set back the very good work that has been done to build greater awareness of cycling safety, road sharing and courtesy on the road,” he said.
There is already a mechanism and that is to take information or evidence to the police or the Transport Department to have it properly considered.”
He said there had been prior incidents where video evidence posted on social media had enflamed emotion and proved unhelpful.
“It should be taken to the police and not to a third party or a social media forum,” he said.
When cyclist and car collide
Calvin Treacy recounts the moment he and four other cyclists collided with a car on a notorious stretch of road in Brisbane.
Ms Savage rejected any suggestion the initiative could exacerbate the sense of frustration some motorists felt towards the growing number of cyclists on the roads.
“Enough is enough – people need to give us one metre and create some space and they need to understand the road rules.
But she said cyclists also needed to obey the law and that motorists were welcome to use dashcam cameras against riders.
“Car drivers have every right if they observe a cyclist breaking the law to report that through to the police,” Ms Savage said.
Last year, eight cyclists died on Queensland roads.