Have Victoria Police lost the plot, or do they now turn a blind eye to the threat of manslaughter?

Another Australian election and political leadership is nowhere to be seen

By Heath Ryan

Saturday January 26 (Australia Day) at 9:50 am

A woman riding a bicycle in Melbourne is seen keying a parked Mercedes shortly after a female cyclist approached that Mercedes’ driver about her driving.

Wednesday 24 April at 1:43 pm

Victoria Police post the keying story with a photo of a woman wearing a helmet on their “Eyewatch - Stonnington Police Service Area” Facebook page asking people to contact Crime Stoppers.

Thursday April 25 (ANZAC Day) at 12:30 pm

In Melbourne a day later, former professional cyclist Damion Drapac - son of Michael Drapac, founder of Drapac Cycling and sponsor of Drapac-Cannondale pro cycling team - is struck from behind and killed while riding his bicycle in broad daylight.

Thursday April 25 (ANZAC Day) at 2:00 pm

Online troll Nathan Barrows makes the following threat on that same Victoria Police Facebook page against the woman police want to speak to in connection with the keying incidence: “Need to scratch a line around her head with a blade, bloody road toad.”

Friday April 26 at 11:00 am

The President of the Australian Cycle Alliance, Edward Hore, speaks with Victoria Police Sergeant Sheppard. He explains how online hate against cyclists contributes to some motorist thinking their lack of humanity is both shared and socially acceptable, and this can embolden these motorists to act aggressively when driving near cyclists.

Sargeant Sheppard says she is aware using a carriage service to threaten someone is a crime. [It is an offence to use a carriage service to threaten to cause serious harm to a person. It is not necessary to prove the person receiving the threat feared it would be carried out. The maximum penalty is seven years. (s474.15, 1995)]

Sargeant Sheppard says Nathan Burrows is just keyboard warrior and that she will take no action.

Friday April 26 at 8:00 pm

The offensive post is still online. While a Victoria Police post about safe motorcycling at Easter has 0 comments and 0 Facebook shares, and a post about ignoring your phone while driving has 1 Facebook share, there are 106 comments and 123 shares on the keying post and the bike hate is still expanding its reach.

Other posts read: “prick cyclists”, “cyclists are a plague”, “make these morons identifiable”, “what a dog”, “cyclist Muppet”, “bird brain”, “Lycra idiots”, “out on bail”, and “got a head like a smashed mango”.

But the most dangerous comment has to be by Tom Achermann, who went to both Scotch College and Monash University: “I would literally commit manslaughter if this happened.”

That sounds like a death threat which carries a ten-year maximum jail sentence … if Victoria Police actually carried about protecting the lives of cyclists.

Are our police protecting us enough? Or are they also facilitating hate against vulnerable road users?

It is time for real leadership before more innocent people lose their lives. 

#thedarkknight_writings #heathryan #inthepublicinterest #cycling #vicpol @victoriapolice #drapac @drapaccycling @scotchcollegemelbourne @monash_uni @davidsouthwickmp

How ‘Othering’ Leads to Hate


In the lead-up to the coming federal election, when Prime Minister Scott Morrison promises to invest $253 million in NSW on “congestion-busting road and rail funding”  that will make it easier for motorists to drive and park at train stations and $2.2 billion to fix notorious black spots and neglected regional highways …

… a QUT (CARRS-Q) study is released that finds cyclists are “not human enough for drivers”:

“… more than half of car drivers think cyclists are not completely human, with a link between dehumanising of bike riders and acts of deliberate aggression towards them on the road.”


Read more ...

Mitigating fear, managing change and preparing to lead

By Heath Ryan

As Tuesday morning, the 16th of April and well into autumn, went from 19 degrees overnight to 29 degrees in the afternoon, I attended a meeting with David Southwick, the sitting MP for Caulfield in the Victorian State Parliament (Opposition Shadow Minister for Police and for Community Safety).


I had the privilege of accompanying Edward Hore, the President of the Australian Cycle Alliance Inc, to this meeting. The initial reason for the meeting was to discuss the social media noise around a local initiative to “Save Inkerman Road”. Even before Glen Eira Council releases any firm proposals, residents are concerned about losing on-street parking as a result of a proposed upgrade to the existing bike lane, which is dangerously narrow and which puts cyclists at risk of car doorings by motorists who – either thoughtlessly or selfishly – frequently fail to look for cyclists before opening their vehicle doors.

Read more ...



Announcement - Car Drivers to be only on one side of the car.

April 1st 2019.


Due to the high level of distraction, the Qeensland Government have announced that by 1 July this year only the driver will be allowed in the front drivers seat, all passengers will be required to be behind them on the right hand side. The exception to this will be for parents to sit next to their children.

The Qeensland Government is aware there will be an immediate boost to the automotive industry with longer cars, vans and 4 seaters sold to accomodate the new law.

Qeensland Cyclery have said this will stop the argument on Single File as it will force motorists to experience the immediate effects caused by trying to force this type of requirement on bikes.

RACQ have said that this will reduce deaths by way of misadventure as too many passengers on the left hand side of the vehicle keep being hit. Keeping everyone on the right is the way to go said Bud Ness from the group.

We can hope that we will see improvements in the safety whilst reducing passenger distraction said the minister at todays press conference.

interior camera


How the West Australian Police view kids playing

We saw a tweet, seemed pretty harmless, a kid hit by a car. But then you read what is being said:


You may notice on that image that the tweet is now missing. That is because after public outrage the WA Police removed the tweet.

Read more ...


I had a phone call today, someone wanted to know if I spend my day on the defensive or on the proactive front in cycling. I asked the question 'do you call me about how good cycling is or how bad?'.

Unfortunately, if you are into cycling advocacy you spend most of your time on the defensive. Often you feel like you are the tobacco or pokies lobby because you are always 'pedalling' something others don't want or will complain about.

An example of this is the action taken today by the Alliance against a Holden Dealership in Brisbane. This Holden dealership decided to jump on the bandwagon coursing through the veins of a Gold Coast anti-cycling paper where a journalist a few years back 'declared war on cyclists'. 

OK, so let's line up the ducks here. We have

  • The home of the Gold Coast Bulletin - A hot bed of seething rubbish writers that take every pop shot at the cycling community
  • Drivers for registration of cyclists - An ex-elite self-loathing cyclist that wants everyone to ride single file
  • Multiple hate pages spread across the state, concentrating in Brisbane itself
  • and a Holden dealership that thought it could win some likes and lol's 
Read more ...
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