BOTH motorists and bike riders need to be educated on proper road use, according to a well-known Border cyclist.
An independent consultant has reviewed cycling laws for VicRoads and recommended changes to some road rules, and that an education campaign be undertaken.
Among the changes to be considered are laws that would create a minimum space between cars passing cyclists, on-the-spot fines for mobile phone use while riding and a review of laws banning riders from travelling two-abreast on certain roads.
Former professional cyclist and The Full Cycle owner Stephen Kilpatrick said riding in Albury-Wodonga was “extremely dangerous”.
He said while both cyclists and drivers needed education, drivers needed to brush up on the rules.
“I think it’s just a culture thing,” he said.
“There’s a very dangerous road cycling environment in Australia.
“I think the motorists need more education than cyclists.
“In my own experience, we have a lot of near misses and incidents as motorists often don’t look for cyclists and will turn out in front of them.”
A cyclist was badly injured earlier this month after being struck by a car on Dallinger Road in Lavington.
According to the report presented to VicRoads, 84 cyclists were killed and 4447 were seriously injured on Victorian roads from 2004 to 2013.
Mr Kilpatrick said while he often saw many drivers texting or talking on their phones, he also saw cyclists riding in the middle of the road while travelling two abreast.
But it was the cyclists who came off second best, he said, as there was no protection during crashes.
“Motorists are essentially the ones driving the weapons,” he said.
“In a collision the cyclists are the ones who get hurt on the road.
“The rider could be badly injured or killed; their lives are in the hands of motorists on many occasions.”
Enacting laws that would force a one metre gap between cars and cyclists would be “absolutely huge”, Mr Kilpatrick said.
“We’ve been campaigning for a long time,” he said.
“If you clip a cyclist they don’t have that protection of a vehicle around them.
“It’s not about getting out there with a ruler and measuring the distance, it’s about implementing a law which that creates awareness of cyclists on the road.”
VicRoads will review the report and seek information from a range of groups.
It will take a position on the report, which will be presented to the government in December.