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Cyclists seen as hazards

The Mercury: Cyclists seen as hazards

February 06, 2010 08:55am

MORE than 60 per cent of Tasmanian drivers believe cyclists are a road hazard.

A survey from insurer AAMI has found.

And most Tasmanians believe riding a bicycle in traffic continues to be risky, despite the introduction of more cyclist-friendly traffic arrangements in major cities.

Eight in 10 of the Tasmanians who participated in AAMI’s survey said Tasmanian roads were unsafe for cyclists.

AAMI says experiences of motorists and cyclists are holding back the transformation of Australian cities into the bicycle-rich landscapes of Asia, and increasingly Europe, where governments sponsor bike-sharing schemes.

Nearly half the people taking part in the research owned a bicycle and a quarter of those used a bike to commute.

Those who chose not to ride to work cited dangerous traffic as a major deterrent.

AAMI spokesman Becher Townshend said the research indicated that the interaction between cars and bicycles, particularly in urban areas, continued to be a source of conflict for riders and drivers.

"Many of the responses we received highlight that motorists tend to see cyclists as a nuisance and are not always willing to share the road," he said.

The majority of drivers (59 per cent) found cyclists hard to see and 62 per cent qualified them as an outright road hazard.

One in four said they had had an accident or a near miss with a cyclist.

Many (65 per cent) claimed to have seen cyclists break road rules and ride dangerously, but 84 per cent would like better facilities for cyclists.