Attack on Bunbury cyclist prompts call to share the road

AGGRESSIVE drivers on Bunbury roads need to consider that being held up by a cyclist for less than a minute is better than living the rest of their lives with a death on their hands.

But the state government also needs to improve cyclist education to help keep the peace on local roads. 

This was the message from the South West Cycle Club after a cyclist was attacked and nearly run down by a driver last Friday. 

Bunbury Police are investigating an assault on a 42-year-old man who was riding his bike along Ocean Drive near Maidens Beach about 8am.  

The cyclist was approached by a man driving a red Ford sedan.

After a short verbal exchange, the driver stopped his vehicle in front of the cyclist.

The driver then retrieved a wooden pole from his car and struck the cyclist before he returned to the vehicle and drove it towards the victim.

The cyclist defended himself and sought cover behind a nearby light pole.

South West Cycle Club president Jo Moore said her members encountered aggressive drivers regularly.

Ms Moore said club riders would head to the Ferguson Valley to avoid busy roads near the city, but some drivers still tried to intimidate riders. 

She said while there was “always two sides of the story” and most drivers were courteous to cyclists, a lot of conflict arose because drivers felt they were being held up by cyclists.  

“I think most aggressive drivers do not put themselves in the cyclist’s shoes,” Ms Moore said. 

“They have no concept of how vulnerable a cyclist is when they overtake extremely close and pass at excessive speed. 

“Often it would not take much for a serious incident to occur and then instead of being 10 seconds late, they are going to spend a lifetime dealing with the consequences.”

Ms Moore said cyclists also had a responsibility to stick to the road rules and look out for other road users. 

She called on the state government to work with local organisations to improve cycling education in schools and development programs for adults.

The City of Bunbury made an application to the state government late last year to fund the Greater Bunbury Bike Plan within the city’s boundaries. 

The plan would build and improve a network of cycle paths throughout the region. 

The transport department was contacted for comment but did not respond at the time of publication. 

z Anyone who witnessed the incident or can provide further information is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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