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Bike Bingle - report accidents and near misses

Rob's picture

By Rob - Posted on 14 December 2010

Just stumbled across this and think it's a great idea:

Basically, it's a place to unofficially log accidents and near miss events that happen when you're riding. I guess it's mostly for road riders who are buzzed, cut up, come across dangerous road surface, etc, but it could also be useful for logging incidents off road.

I guess the idea is that if people report incidents there is something that can be shown to authorities when trying to claim certain places need better planning?

Anyhow, seemed like a good idea and looks pretty well implemented.

hawkeye's picture

Thanks for that Rob. Most of my hours on the bike are commuting.

There's a national forum I frequent that is more road/touring/commuting oriented where this will generate a good amount of interest.

Quite a few of the members there are so sick of being either carelessly or deliberately run off the road by drivers they've resorted to using helmet mounted and rear-facing cams to capture any traffic incidents they get caught up in. I must admit I'm thinking of going that way myself.

obmal's picture

Similar to this topic, I've recently started commuting to North Sydney (a couple days a week when I can) so only just experienced some of the rage that's out there Sad
Although as a middle man commuting (I drive and ride) via the spit bridge, I have to say that since I've been riding to the North Sydney, I'm a bit surprised that even when there's multiple ways to avoid the cars on Military road / Spit road.. (I take the back roads to avoid military and spit roads where I can and there's plenty of them) there are still a lot of riders that choose to ride in traffic on these roads. Now I'm OK with that, but I cant help but feel that the frustration this causes results in the people that will then have a go at me when I'm riding home along the parkway or generally routes where there are no alternates to avoid holding up cars.

In the last few months; I have been spat at, swore at, had things thrown at me, run into the gutter, cut off, had cars push me along overtake and miss me by inches and then brake hard in front of me. not to mention the accidental incidents (gotta keep an eye out for the door openers) that could have resulted in injury.

jdb's picture

I always found Military Rd safer during peak hours then back roads. Back roads for me presented more safety risks with people pulling out of parking spots and side streets without properly checking.

daveh's picture

As a pretty much rain, hail or shine bike commuter to the city I completely agree. I would even go as far as saying that it is a little bit selfish to ride on Military Road in peak hour, especially those riders that treat it like a gentle ride around Centennial Park. You ride on Military Road, you push yourself keep up with traffic. Why you would want to sit behind buses, get stopped when the traffic banks up, etc., etc. I do not know.

I find the ride around the back streets great, the views over the harbour, streets that you did not know existed, the chance to actually chat with other riders (found myself riding with some of the Rockstar boys the other week) is great. This weather is the icing on the cake. The main thing that scares me is not those drivers that do not see you as you can see that they have no idea, it is those drivers that see you and do something stupid anyway. Hard to deal with that except expect everyone to do something stupid. The other thing drivers should realise is that their 1.8 litre, 4 cylinder car is not powerful enough to overtake me doing 40km when there is a car coming the other way. This just tends to lead to them being next to me, on the wrong side of the road, when said car is metres away from them and what do they do? Go left of course, forcing me into the gutter/parked car or into slamming on my brakes.

I still say that the majority of drivers are pretty good, just a little naive as to their and their car's abilities.

hawkeye's picture

99% of drivers are fine. It's the one percent that you have to worry about.

I saw a quote today stating research by the Amy Gillett Foundation indicates a road cyclist can expect an "incident" about once every three hours riding time in Australia.

I've had many more incidents commuting mostly on back streets to SOP than I ever did commuting to the city on the main roads.

The distinctions are:
Main roads:
* more eyes on you and the driver seems to mean less chance of someone deliberately monstering you
Military road:
* it's a car park in peak hour. Bikes are almost always faster than motor traffic
* lots of bikes on the route. Drivers expect and look for cyclists = less stupidity.
* alternate routes for the slow uphill crawls that take you right away from motorised traffic (eg Parriwi Road, Battle Bvd)

Unfortunately people can be b@st@rds. The sense of entitlement that comes over them when they get in a car, allied with relatively anonymity when ensconced in their metal boxes, and thinking they can get away with it if nobody's around, will always lead some to act like bullies when a vulnerable target presents itself. Unfortunately that often tends to be one of us.

I've also noticed that the rate of incidents escalates dramatically whenever shock jocks like Alan Jones and Ray Hadley et al spew their poison about cyclists across the airwaves.

Fortunately for me an off-duty cop saw it done to me (1 year ago today), so I had someone to chase for compensation. Smiling

pat.o's picture

There's also this one for adding routes to the bikeable network:

You need to register to comment ... or get any information out, so I can't say whether it's worthwhile or not. My commute's already on the RTA maps. Has anyone else had a look?

daveh's picture

The problem with Military Road is that it is just so busy, you fall, there's a car on top of you, someone doesn't see you, there's no time for them to take evasive action without hitting another car. When I don't ride, I catch a bus and the majority of bus drivers will sit 1 foot from the rear wheel of a bike rider - that can't be much fun.

I also think that the back streets give you somewhere to go so that you can let a few cars past when it's safe to do so. This usually seems to help avoid confrontation. On the main roads they're stuck behind you with often growing frustration and there's nothing you can do.

I maintain that most people are pretty good to bike riders, just, unfortunately, not particularly good at driving!

CharlieB's picture

I do >6,000km p.a. commuting from the Northern Beaches come hail, rain or shine (I am from the UK so if did not ride in the rain, would never have learnt to ride).

Are Sydney drivers bad? Yes. But there is a clear variation in this. I do the back road run, but this has its own issues. Notably; where cars pulling from side roads in front of you (main reason of the aye-up set up on the lid to ping drivers coming in), those that misjudge how fast you will come into and around a corner/roundabout and those that just go hell for leather to squeeze in front of you before a junction/ corner/roundabout/etc and then have to slam on the breaks (a game one particular BMW M5 plays). Much of this you can feel happening, so help avoid, but that does not always work! I also run a lose gauge of which cars are driven by the worse drivers. Typically small cheap cars are up there for vague lane selection, but Mercedes drivers seem not to be able to afford the yellow things that blink on the side of the vehicle, etc.

Putting all that aside it is clear to me afternoon/evening drivers are MUCH worse than morning. Then Friday and Monday nights are worse again.

I have also reported cars to the police where the driver’s actions have been deliberate. They apparently it up and keep a record for future reference (or so they told me).

hawkeye's picture

I once had a Sydney Buses driver who deliberately sat a metre off my rear wheel, after I'd just crested the Parriwi Rd climb and rejoined Spit Rd Transit Lane after the end of the shared use path. He responded to a signalled request for more room by tailgating even closer. So I slowed to a stop and then got off my ike and refused to budge until he changed lanes and went around me.

Eventually I caught him at Neutral Bay and the guy went off his tree when I called him out on his intimidatory driving.

So I took details of the bus rego, route number, time and nearest cross street and reported him to the Sydney Buses complaint line. A couple of days later I was informed that he was disciplined and counselled about his behaviour.

I found that being tailgated by Sydney Buses drivers stopped being an issue on that route for quite a few months.

Sydney Buses does take safety quite seriously, as most big companies do these days, so if you are getting bullied taking details and reporting the driver does work. The caveat is that you must take enough detail so that the driver can be easily identified.

However, I find these days that I prefer to take the back routes, simply because now that I am getting interested in doing events and racing that I want a longer and harder workout, free of stop/start traffic and annoying interruptions.

Flynny's picture

So now when walkers start a web site to log the times when riders "Almost ran them down" and submit that to the authorities we'll be fine with it?

All this complaining and fighting, can't we all just get along

hawkeye's picture

I've no problem with peds reporting stupid selfish cyclist behaviour.

Yes, I'd prefer that we did all get along, but people are going to have to give up their self-centredness. As for why that is unlikely and the trend will worsen, do you really want an answer to that? Smiling

It's a natural consequence of what we've been sowing in our society for awhile now... most folks aren't gonna want to hear it. And it's a can of worms that's waaay off-topic for this site. Eye-wink

Flynny's picture

"So long as it's fact-based..."

problem is, as we have pointed out again and again to land managers is that
The "fact" of "near misses " is based on perception

hawkeye's picture

OK, I see where you're going. I was mainly thinking people on footpaths... Duh. Puzzled

Fair enough. Smiling

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