There are people in this country who look to Shane Warne as a role model, who we can automatically assume to be dumb enough to be dangerous. Mr Warne is already guilty of inciting his followers to perpetrate acts of violence against a vulnerable minority, cyclists, and aught to be charged. If he were tweeting hatred toward muslims, homosexuals or aboriginals, he would be due to face to court, for hate speech.
But in one sense, we aught to thank him, for highlighting the failures of Australian road engineers. Rather than treating cycling as a levered up kind of walking, as Holland and Denmark have done, they persist with John Forester’s idea that bikes are vehicles, “in the eye of the law”. The law must be blind. Bikes don’t have airbags. They don’t shield their riders. They have one five-hundreth of a car’s power. They can’t stop mid lane and reverse park. They can’t claim a car parking space. How then, as a matter of policy, can bikes be expected to move to centre lanes, in order to turn across oncoming traffic?
In those rare places where circumstances really do permit treating bikes as slow vehicles, the global solution has been to provide a bike box, that allows cyclists to follow a bike lane alongside the gutter, then gather at the front of the cars, before making their turn. But in places where cycling is really flourishing, because it is treated as a strong kind of walking (not a weak kind of driving), we see better solutions, including measures and laws to slow cars to bike speed, or hook turns from bike boxes, like the ones they employ in Copenhagen (see image on left).
I didn’t have to travel the world to learn this. I had picked it up just out of interest, by using google. So what kind or retarded road engineers are we paying to do this, as their real job, here in Australia? To some extent conflicts like Warne’s are the result of letting cricketers drive, but really, they are more to do with letting ignorant old men design roads. Ministers of transport: sack the lot, and re-hire.