Road maggot toll climbs

Caption: CTV footage of the cyclist who mowed down a Perth woman

It was way back when I was a young curmudgeon that newspapers began printing the road toll on their front pages. The idea was to remind everyone to take care on the roads.

The road toll has dropped steadily ever since. But what about deaths caused by cyclists? In the interest of public safety, it might be time to start publishing a Road Maggot toll.

In one notorious incident, speeding lycra-fetishists flagrantly disobeyed traffic signals and killed an elderly pedestrian. The so-called “Hell Ride” is still going, and still breaking the law, ten years later. No lesson learned.

A Perth woman was very lucky recently not to become another statistic. Quote:

A mother who was run over by a cyclist on her morning jog says she is lucky to be alive after the incident.

Christine Barrett, 59, was jogging along the Rockingham foreshore in Perth with two friends when a man on a bicycle ran her down. End of quote.

Once again, flagrant disregard for rules seems to be a common factor. West Australian law stipulates that “Riders must not ride carelessly or recklessly”. That includes “riding at a speed that places other riders and pedestrians at risk”. Quote:

‘He comes speeding around on a mountain bike and my friend said ‘hey slow down’ so he swerves to miss her but got me.

‘I went right over a bench and I must have broken my fall with my elbow. He landed on top of me, his bike landed on top of me.’ End of quote.

Cyclists are very vocal whenever it’s one of them who gets hurt. Not so much when they plough down others. Quote:

‘He just got back on his bike, said sorry, and rode off … my friend said she saw him after lunch riding through the same area erratically.’ End of quote.

These might seem like isolated incidents, but data indicates that accidents caused by cyclists are increasing. In Britain, accidents between cyclists and pedestrians have increased by fifty percent in seven years. Cycling accidents are rising in Australia, too. Even where cyclists are killed, a report found that sixty percent were caused by the cyclists themselves. As more people are encouraged to cycle, these numbers will surely increase.

Even when pedestrians aren’t killed, the consequences can be devastating. Quote:

Mrs Barrett is a swim teacher and dog walker and won’t be able to work for at least six weeks.

‘I don’t know how I’m going to live for the next four to six weeks’ End of quote.

So, is it time to start holding road maggots to account?

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Who is Lushington D. Brady?

Well, a pseudonym. Obviously.

But the name Lushington Dalrymple Brady has been chosen carefully. Not only for the sum of its overall mien of seedy gentility, reminiscent perhaps of a slightly disreputable gentlemen of letters, but also for its parts, each of which borrows from the name of a Vandemonian of more-or-less fame (or notoriety) who represents some admirable quality which will hopefully animate the persona of Lushington D. Brady.

To read my previous articles click on my name in blue.

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