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Kabouter Kapot
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Say NO! to "Burry" Gap

14 January 2013, 09:32
Please note that this article has nothing to do with the death of Olympian hero Burry Stander.

It has everything to do with the blatant opportunism of the road cycling fraternity to use the death of Stander to get some law enforced that will be directly against the right of motorised traffic, for which roads were built. Shame on you for naming this the “Burry” gap!

All of you guys who want this gap: Imagine the following scenario:

100 or more motorists are on their way to work when the first motorist encounters a man on an expensive bicycle training for a sports event. He has to slow down from 80 km/h to 30 or 40 because there isn’t a 1.5 metre gap for him to overtake the bicycle. Result: 99 other vehicles also have to slow down. For the pleasure of a one sports person training?

Move this scenario to a windy road and you have a multiple vehicle collision when the first motorist has to slow down fast. Because the rights and safety of a sporting cyclist have to come before the rights and safety of a cyclist!

Where is the logic and fairness in this scenario?

Or imagine this scenario: Bumper to bumper traffic of 20 km/h and a cyclist passes all of those vehicles at 40km/h without there being a 1.5m gap between them? Will the cyclist be fined for breaking the 1.5m law?

Or if motorists move slightly to the left to allow space for a motor bike, completely unaware of the approaching cyclist on the left? I am all for motor bikes on the road because they help ease congestion. Sporting road cyclists add to congestion.

Using the death of Burry Stander as an opportunity to campaign for the so-called “rights” of a group of elitist sports people over that of millions of other road users is sick.

There is no such thing as “equality on the road”.  Roads were built for motorised vehicles and pedestrians and cyclists should know that they are at risk of getting killed when they move into the territory of motor vehicles. We would have chaos on our roads if pedestrians just start moving into oncoming traffic, the way cyclists do.

If we all had the same rights in all scenarios, why don’t we just pay everybody the same salary across the board regardless of qualifications?  When a shark attacks somebody in the sea, do we call for legislation and fines against sharks? No, because we know that sharks are dangerous and if you move into their territory, you can get killed. 

As one commentator on a cycling story noted: There are thousands and thousands of rands of safety and crash impact technology build into a car because driving on a road is dangerous. There is no such technology on a bicycle.

Get the picture cyclists?

I hope that the officials who have to consider the introduction of a 1.5m gap realise that they cannot infringe on the rights of millions of ordinary motorists and their passengers for the sake of a few cyclists who deem themselves the most important road users in this country.

Before road cycling became a sporting craze, nobody could give a damn about the poor man on his way to work on a bicycle. This man also happened to know that he should not hog the road because he can get killed by dangerous cars. Before the sporting craze, we didn’t use to go around saying: Oh, I can’t stand the stupidity of cyclists on the road. Nowadays complaints about cyclists are about as common as compaints about taxis!

As another commentator said: Instead of the “Think Bike” campaign, there should be a “Bike, think” campaign. Why must we all pay special attention to cyclists who do NOT have the necessary safety features on their bikes that motorists have on their cars? But they think they have are "equal" to cars? I am definitely in on the “Bike, think!” campaign”.

We don’t need legislation to make roads safe for the sports cycling fraternity. We need legislation to get them off busy roads. Many of these cyclists mention that they are middle and upper income earners and contribute so much to tax and the GDP of the country. Well, why don’t you guys just take all your money and drive to the country side where you can safely train for your sporting events? Imagine how good that would be for the economy of small towns!

Get real cyclists and don’t make your fun, sports and thrill-seeking the problem of motorists and add to the congestion on the roads. And don’t exploit the death of Burry Stander for your own selfish and unrealistic  reasons.

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