Dad’s call for change after ‘scary’ family bike ride
A HINTERLAND father is calling for better education and respect around cycling safety after his family was targeted by "aggressive" drivers on what was supposed to be an enjoyable ride.
Jonathan Porter was left disappointed after multiple drivers sped past himself, his wife and their two young children while they were riding from Gheerulla to Kenilworth on Monday.
He said the family thought starting their trip past the Moy Pocket Rd intersection on Eumundi Kenilworth Rd would make for a safer ride, as many trucks didn't go past that point and the road was quieter.
But Mr Porter said in the 16km-round trip, at least 10 drivers sped past too close, with some winding their window down to yell abuse or make rude gestures to the family.
"I was just shocked by how frustrated they got at us and angry, and at times some people were really risky in their behaviour to the point where we thought we were going to be hit," he said.
"For the kids it was really scary."
He said while there wasn't much space on the shoulder of the country road, there weren't many cars travelling in the opposite direction and drivers had plenty of room to give the family space.
Mr Porter said attitudes towards cyclists had a long way to go, and called for better signage in the hinterland community to educate motorists on the safe passing laws.
In Queensland, when the speed limit is over 60km/h, drivers must leave 1.5m of space between their car and a cyclist. Cyclists are permitted to ride side-by-side, as long as they're not further than 1.5m apart.
"I thought it might be the odd (driver) that might get a bit annoyed, but it was really aggressive," Mr Porter said.
"If it was one person you'd just kind of brush it off … but to me it seemed like a community view."
Division 10 Councillor David Law said everyone deserved to get home safely and every road user had a responsibility to follow the rules.
"There needs to be awareness of all road users to give space for everyone using the roads," Cr Law said.
"If we can't get past the cyclist or someone walking, then we have to slow right down until we can safely get past them.
"It's about showing that respect and safety on the roads."
Cycling safety advocate and widow of Drive Safe, Pass Wide campaigner Cameron Frewer, Catherine Frewer, said drivers' attitude and a lack of patience continued to be an issue on the region's roads.
"You only need that one second … when you're impatient and it's too late. The cyclist is always going to be worse off than you," she said.
Mrs Frewer has fearlessly campaigned for road safety and better enforcement of the 1.5m safe passing laws since her husband was hit and killed while cycling on Caloundra Rd in November 2018.
She said attitudes towards cyclists had come to a "crisis point" and urged drivers to remember each rider was someone's spouse, parents, child, friend and sibling before acting aggressively.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads has been contacted for comment.