Cycling in the news 18 Jul to 24 Jul

This week a driver in Sydney was arrested after being involved in eight separate hit-and-run incidents. As The Sydney Morning Herald reported, the 35-year-old driver was caught speeding on the M1 on the Central Coast but was released by police with a suspended license.

A short time later the driver hit a 48-year-old male cyclist on the Pacific Highway at Lindfield, and was separately involved in a collision with a 55-year-old male cyclist who suffered fractured ribs and a fractured collarbone from the crash.

The driver continued into the city where he hit another cyclist and a number of cars, including an SUV being driven by a 59-year-old woman who alleges the driver swerved into her lane to hit her.

Police tracked the SUV to a petrol station in Penrith on Monday and arrested the driver. He was taken to Nepean Hospital for mandatory testing.

In Queensland, My Sunshine Coast reported that University of Sunshine Coast researchers had received grant money from the Australian Government’s Road Safety Innovation Fund to begin a project looking at the risks facing cyclists on Australian roads.

The research, led by Professor Paul Salmon, will develop and trial an online incident reporting tool that will then be used to research close passing incidents and their possible causes. As The Age reported, the study will look at road infrastructure design as well as cyclist and driver training and behaviour.

The announcement comes as the RACQ notes that Queensland pedestrian and cyclist deaths are currently at double their year-on-year average rates.

As coronavirus rates rise again in Victoria the government there has enacted stricter rules on social distancing and travel. This includes rules that state cyclists needed to limit their rides to “the minimum distance to achieve [their] exercise means”. As Cycling Tips reported on Monday, a number of Melbourne cyclists have already reported unclear and inconsistent application of these rules by police.

In New South Wales, residents have been told by Transport Minister Andrew Constance that there was an inherent risk of coronavirus spreading through the public transport network. As The Sydney Morning Herald reported, the minister has urged people to think of alternatives such as walking and cycling, and warned NSW residents not to become complacent about the risk of infection.  

In other news, bicycle retailers in the Hawksbury area continue to report increased demand for bikes during coronavirus pandemic as residents look for alternatives to public transport. As The Hawksbury Gazette reported on Monday, one shopkeeper in Windsor said they had sold 350 cycles in six weeks and that it was becoming difficult to keep products in stock.

Businesses also reported an increase in demand for repair and maintenance services. Those interviewed by the Gazette reported that although demand had lessened since the end of April, it still remained above what they considered normal.

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