- Written by Andrew P
I commute daily and have done for 3 years. My route is not the safest. 90% of the route does have a painted white line and cycle lane signs. The other 10% I use careful judgement and patience to ensure I make it. I’ve been hit by a left turner once.
To make it safely I do my part. Follow all road rules, have lights and mechanically sound bike. Since the 1m rule I’ve been impressed to see greater space given by many drivers. 90% of buses are great too. However one evening, one bus driver on two occasions endangered my life while riding in a marked cycle lane.
When I got home there was a news article of a NSW rider who was just killed by a bus. This had to stop. So I reported the incident online, providing the route and bus number. I was requesting further training for the driver involved or better cycling infrastructure to keep buses and cyclists apart.
Less than a month later the company involved have completed their formal investigation and have confirmed an action plan far beyond what I was expecting. It really inspires me to report a few more incidents to recognise the great bus drivers out there. So happy to see the bus company and council taking cycle safety so seriously.
I know it will take all of us working together for harmony and safety on the road. This incident reminds me that we do have a voice its important that we use it and don’t assume the Police or Council won’t listen or care. They did this time and I know there will be at least one less bus I or my commuter buddies have to worry about on my way home tomorrow.
Here's what happened as described in the complaint:
Formal Complaint regarding Bus Route ###, Bus #### on W##### Road approx 630pm (20-June-2014) approaching Gateway Arterial Road travelling outbound from the city.
The bus failed to provide safe distance to cyclist in bike lane on left side. After passing once so close I was blown sideways further 500m up the road the bus then merged early causing the rear half of the bus to force me over and to break to avoid a collision due to the bus crossing into the cycle lane when an additional lane was added as the road passes under the gateway arterial.
As the initial incident was on a clear straight stretch of road there is no reason for the driver to not ensure sufficient space. The lack of due care changing lanes into a cycle lane shows incompetence and lack of care endangering life.
I request the driver complete further education on safe passing of cyclists and/or provide cycle infrastructure upgrades to provide safe passage for cyclists.
Ensuring 1m passing distance may at times require buses to change lanes. They can not be assuming their size entitles them to break road rules systemically.
I consider this formal notification and I will not hesitate to seek legal advice in the case of any incident caused by Brisbane City drivers on our barely acceptable cycle commuting infrastructure.
Let us not allow our roads and our PUBLIC services lead to further deaths such as the one in NSW today:
The difference for me this evening was less than 10cm.
Thank you for your consideration of how council will respond to this serious safety issue impacting a growing number of citizens and their loved ones.
There was some correspondence between parties, but this is marked as:
I am writing in follow up to the incident you reported to TransLink regarding the dangerous driving of the operator of Brisbane Transport bus #### on 20 June 2014.
As you may be aware, TransLink undertook an investigation into the matters you raised. In consulting with our delivery partner, Brisbane Transport we were provided with the information below:
Please pass on Brisbane Transport’s sincere apologies for the bus operator’s behaviour on this occasion. The operator concerned has been interviewed and reminded about their responsibilities as a professional driver and a representative of Brisbane Transport to drive safely and extend courtesy to other road users at all times. This should especially include cyclists as their safety can be seriously compromised by other larger vehicles on the road such as buses and trucks. The operator’s performance will be monitored to ensure the standards comply with Brisbane Transport requirements. This incident has also been noted on the operator’s employment file and will be taken into account at the next performance appraisal.
I trust that this information is of assistance, should you require further information about public transport in South East Queensland please visit the TransLink website athttp://www.translink.com.au/ . Alternatively, the TransLink Contact Centre is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 13 12 30.
TransLink Customer Support
Now, remember - this is not a name and shame, but an example of the change we are seeing, as we become more represented on the roads and around the streets, we are becoming more valuable. We are becoming more important. We are becoming more human.
This company has seen the value in Andrew's concerns, and Cycle would like to thank Brisbane Transport and Translink for taking this incident seriously. We hope the driver is encouraged to look after us, all of us, on the road.Finally, thank you for sharing this Andrew, you ride because you are a commuter, and that is #MovingCyclingForward.