Cyclists need helmets … and to keep off footpaths
I am an avid bike rider who started riding more than 60 years ago.
Looking through photos and videos of the European biking scene, I see everyone, or most everyone, riding without a helmet.
Women with multiple kids unstrapped in cargo bikes, all without a helmet.
All I can do is shake my head, because they are putting themselves and particularly their children at risk.
I recently had an accident riding out in the bush which would have been very serious if I hadn’t been wearing a helmet.
In regard to riding on the footpath, I don’t agree with that either.
Footpaths are for slow speed walkers. I have seen an adult man riding on a footpath plough in to a big elderly woman from behind. It was sickening to see. The rider was ok, the bike bent around, the woman in a lot of pain and hospitalized.
Even if she had seen him coming she wouldn’t have been able to get out of his way.
And I, as a teenager, rode down the footpath once and ploughed in to a car backing out of his drive. He had no chance of seeing me and I saw him too late.
Footpaths are for slow pedestrian traffic.
Yes, serious money needs to be spent on dedicated cycle tracks, or cycle/walking tracks.
Bendigo has some now, but they need to be expanded greatly, I would like to see the Bendigo creek track taken out much further, to keep cyclists off the roads and able to move in and out of the city relatively safely.
And finally, if cyclists choose to ride without helmets and have an accident, sustaining injuries that would probably not have occurred if they wore a helmet, does that negate insurance claims ? Will they pay the costs of their recovery and rehab, or will the taxpayer?
Rob Johnson, Huntly
When will I hear a climate change plan, McKenzie?
Dear Bridget McKenzie. As you're probably aware, a large group of school children from Castlemaine have gone on strike in Bendigo to ask their politicians to take urgent action on climate change.
Ms McKenzie, you have said publicly that you believe in climate change and newly appointed Energy Minister, Angus Taylor, said the same thing.
This is great but we really need to see your party's policy to be able to truly believe you.
According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), your government is shamefully short of the emissions target that it made in Paris in December 2015, on behalf of the people of Australia.
With a business-asusual approach, which includes hundreds of billions of dollars invested in coal, we are now on track for a disastrous four degree rise in global temperature.
We desperately need a plan to phase out coal by 2030 or we surely are in for longer droughts, more wild fires, more intense cyclones, storms and floods; and, very likely, the loss of our iconic Great Barrier Reef.
I would love to be able to tell the children that you and your government are working on this plan. When will I hear from you?
Trevor Scott, architect and grandfather, Castlemaine
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