New Road Laws. Oh Who Cares Anyway?

Road laws. I can take them or leave them.

Sometimes I start out on a ride with good intentions. I follow the laws. I might even have a helmet on. I stop at the red lights and smile reassuringly at our enemy. Then some moron tries to kill me. You know, runs me off the road, cuts me off as I enter an intersection, passes where no passing is possible, etc. You know. The usual. But I turn the cheek. And then not minutes later some other moron does something equally stupid and annoying and I turn the other cheek. And so on until I run out of cheeks. (I only have four.) And pretty soon I’m in a mood to abandon any pretence that I give a shit about any laws.

But mostly when I go for a ride I don’t even pretend to care for laws. I can take them or leave them. And mostly I leave them. I’ve been cycling waaaaay to long to pretend to myself that anyone out there gives a flying fuck about me, my safety, or any laws as they apply to me. And that’s cool. I’m an adult. I accept that. Just makes me wonder why they, the cartards, piss and moan so much like little bleating children when we break some inconsequential law. Like running red lights. If I can regress to their level for a moment and summon up my own inner whiny child I’d retort, “Well you started it!”

(Is that Audi just about to run over that cyclist? And where did his bike frame go?)

I read with amusement the other day that Queensland, the beautiful but intellectually challenged state in which I live had passed new laws governing bike safety. I didn’t bother reporting on them because they seemed so meaningless to cyclist. One rule said that cars can’t come within 1 metres of us when they overtake. You see a rule like that and you wonder, who is going to police it? Who is going to care? In terms of efficacy they may as well pass laws against masturbation. You just know that the very people who pass that law will be furtively tugging away that very day as they watch You Tube bike accident videos.

(So you’re telling me this wasn’t law already in Qld? Is it still legal to beat your wife?)

The laws also came with an admonishment. We cyclist were told that we’re a naughty bunch of children and it was up to us to behave. If we held up our end of the bargain they would hold up theirs. In other words the laws, while pretending to help us, we actually a thinly veiled attack on cyclists. A bit or carrot and stick. But you just know that the interpretation of the laws on the ground will have more stick than carrot. And who says I like carrots anyway?

My response to reading the laws was to yawn and move on to something that might have more impact on my life. Like the ins and outs for this round of footy.

The day the laws were released I didn’t ride on the road. My only cycling was short. Just to soccer and back, which is bike paths all the way. Amusingly, I did run into trouble with the cartards. Mainly because he/she was driving up the footpath directly toward me. There was no possible safe passing distance because this fucker took up the entire path. So I’d say for me, my personal impressions of the laws so far, is that they’re failing.

(Here it is in metric.)

So it was with amusement I read in the Courier Mail (we’re not a tabloid!) that cyclists are failing to live up to their part of the bargain. Really? Us? Yes, us. Naughty irascible children that we are. The cartards have been absolute saints. You just know they have. I’m sure all of you who cycle daily in the state of Queensland have only good things to say for the cartards. No-one cut you off, pulled over just in font of you, ran straight through you like you didn’t exist, or passed within a bull’s roar of your bike. I’m sure. Well pity we cyclists couldn’t do the same for them.

The Courier Mail (we’re not a tabloid, really!) reports:

THEY were the changes supposed to make our roads safer, but just days after the Newman Government introduced new cycling legislation, bike riders have failed to meet their end of the bargain.

You can read more of that drivel here.

According to that report police, in a crackdown on cycle safety, handing out 88 fines to cyclist and none to car drivers. None. Because they’re absolute fucking saints aren’t they? And you cyclists, yeah I’m pointing the finger at your now, are miscreants.

Well that’s how they spell it out anyway.

As far as I can see, if these laws fail because cyclists couldn’t behave, then good. It’s game on as usual. Bring it on. I’ll go for a ride later today and I’ll break a bunch of road rules, as I do every time I ride. I’ll also do a bunch of stuff that is totally legal but that cartards think is illegal anyway. But whatever I do, I guarantee that for every one transgression I commit, ten or more are committed against me. And for that reason I say, to the Queensland government, to the Queensland police and the twits at Courier Mail, you can take your new laws and shove them where they don’t shine. If they’re not going to help then why have them?

 

2 Comments

  1. Young

    This makes me think of cycling one time on a road. Now I consider myself pretty reasonable, I’d be pretty annoyed the road was blocked off by some slow c**t. However there were two lanes (per direction) on this road, and to be less annoying, I rode basically on the gutter. (There were no footpaths next to the road on that side.)

    This was one of my first times riding on the road, and it was a big mistake. Nearly got swiped by a few mirrors as cars passed me. So I move to the middle of the lane.

    Then some ute tries to run me off the road…

    On happier news, I got my Corsa. I built it up and then promptly stripped one of the threads on the front brake with my lack of mechanical skills. I’m getting it serviced at the moment to make sure it doesn’t do weird stuff.

  2. Anonymous

    I understand you… Here in Brazil authorities think exaaactly the same… That rule to keep distance from bycicles have 12 years (5 feet here) and I never, never, ever met someone, driver, cyclist or pedestrian who knew that rule. Traffic agents obvliously knew, but isn’t a pratical rule. If the bykers can pass legally BETWEEN lanes, how can I worry about 5, 3 or zero feet and cyclists? I live in a town with a close to decent cycleways net, but in ‘enemy’s field’ things are complicated, specially because the high number of trucks. The good news is, all around the world, more and more governments are thinking about cyclists – and even a dumb rule is a step in the right direction.

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