Pedal brigade blasts "abusive" truck drivers

Bicycle group tells truck drivers to change their attitude toward cyclists, accusing them of having a “behavioural problem”

By Ruza Zivkusic | August 30, 2011

Bicycle Victoria is calling on truck drivers to drop their "abusive" attitude towards riders as new figures show 22 cyclists were injured in crashes involving heavy vehicles this year.

Bicycle Victoria spokesman Garry Brennan says many riders, especially women, complain of truckies’ verbal abuse and say they drive too close to them.

"This indicates to me that this is a behavioural problem, these people are engaging a behaviour which is not only illegal but is completely unacceptable," Brennan says.

"I think there needs to be a change in attitude and behaviour amongst truck drivers because bikes are here to stay.

If you think there are a large number of them on the roads now then you will have another thing coming because there will be far more of them on the road in the future and they are going to be asserting their legal rights and other road users will have to respect them."

Although Brennan does not believe trucks need to be banned from cities, he says all road users should learn to live with each other.

"We have found that in Melbourne where there are lots of bikes that drivers have adopted their behaviour and they’re much more conscious and aware of bikes than they used to be but we also know that drivers who drive in areas where there are not many bikes they are yet to modify their style of driving," he says.

"We know that many truck drivers are quite highly skilled and they’re well trained but we also know that the visibility from the cab of many modern commercial vehicles is relatively poor and that some recent collisions appear to have resulted from commercial vehicles changing lanes or turning where they hadn’t checked for the presence of bicycles on the road.

"Truck drivers need to be aware that bikes have full and complete rights on the road along with every road user and that they have to be respected and that all road users including trucks have a legal responsibility to take care of other road users and be alert and watch out for them."

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