Cycling in the news 5 Sep to 11 Sep, 2020

Source: The Age (2020, September 4). https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/aboriginal-man-accuses-police-of-violent-assault-and-racist-abuse-20200904-p55si9.html

A cyclist in Melbourne has been hospitalised after police tackled him to the ground while he was riding his bike along St Kilda Road. As The Age reported, police fined the 32-year-old aboriginal man for allegedly riding without a light and riding on the footpath. He claims that police injured his arm and crushed the wheel of his bike before pushing him against a wall and racially vilifying him. Victoria Police have denied that the arrest was the result of racial profiling, saying in a statement that they were “satisfied with the use of force” and that officers were “not aware of the man’s ethnicity” until after they arrested him.

On Tuesday, a man in his 60s had to be taken to hospital on the Gold Coast after being pushed from his bike while riding near Runaway Bay. According to The Daily Telegraph, the cyclist sustained serious injuries after the driver of a car pulled along side him and the passenger leaned out to push the rider over. Police say they are investigating the incident as an assault and are asking for any witnesses to come forward.

Also on the Gold Coast, a cyclist wanted in connection with a suspected road rage attack has surrendered to police after his photo was distributed widely on social media. As reported by Daily Mail Australia, the 46-year-old man is alleged to have broken the drivers jaw after pulling over into a parking lot to confront the man. The victim told reporters he had yelled at the cyclist to ride “in a single lane” before the incident occurred. The rider has been charged and will face court later this month.

South Australian police are also looking for a cyclist after an alleged assault on a Victor Harbor footpath. The Victor Harbor Times reported last Friday that a woman in her 70s had been rammed and threatened by a cyclist while walking her dog. The male cyclist is alleged to have knocked the woman to the ground, breaking her wrist, before fleeing the scene. The woman had to be treated in hospital. Police are seeking information from the public that may help them in their investigation.

In infrastructure news, the Western Australian government is being lobbied to divert some of its planned infrastructure spending on road and rail towards greener initiatives. As The Western Australian reported, climate group Clean State is asking the government to commit to building 2000 kilometres of new bike lanes and cycleways, as well as purchase electric buses and bike-friendly trains. The lobby group claims their greener vision for COVID-19 stimulus spending would create over 5000 jobs and help sustain increased ridership gained during the pandemic.

The chairman of Brisbane’s public and active transport committee has asked the City Council to ban e-scooters from being used on footpaths. Instead, councillor Ryan Murphy said legislation needed to be changed to allow e-scooters to be used on roads and in bike lanes. As The Brisbane Times reported on Wednesday, the move comes after a woman was allegedly hit by an e-scooter in June causing serious injuries including a broken kneecap. Currently, e-scooters cannot be operated on main roads, in bike lanes or on roads in central business districts in Queensland. Cr Murphy has also asked the state government to consider reviewing the 25km/h speed limit for e-scooters, saying that further steps needed to be taken to separate pedestrians and e-scooters.

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