News.com.au reports that a government agency is to probe allegations of lax policing after a Queensland cyclist who repeatedly complained about close passing motorists was killed on the roads last week.
Days before he was killed, cycling campaigner Cameron Frewer wrote an open letter expressing his belief that he was “being ignored as a ‘pest’” by Queensland Police Service (QPS), or that they considered him to be submitting complaints about close overtaking “in a frivolous manner.”
Frewer had long maintained that it was only a matter of time before he was involved in a serious collision, but had grown frustrated with the attitudes he encountered within QPS.
He wrote: “The question I often ask myself is, ‘Will bicycles ever be considered vehicles by those entrusted with upholding the state’s road laws?’ Or will the excuses for poor driving, victim blaming and irrelevant comments continue?”
Frewer lost his life following a collision with a pick-up truck on Monday November 5.
In the wake of his death, his wife Catherine said: “Some of the comments he would get was that he shouldn’t be riding on those rides because they were too busy, and that maybe he should just buy an exercise bike. And they weren’t from ordinary people — the authorities would say that to him.
“It’s so silly. It’s blaming cyclists for being on the road. He got excuse after excuse and it’s why he was fighting so hard to be able to enjoy riding and to be safe.”
On Tuesday, Bicycle Queensland chief executive officer Anne Savage met with Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey and Police Minister Mark Ryan to discuss the issue.
The ministers suggested the concerns be referred to an independent authority for examination.
A spokesperson for Queensland Police said the force took all matters of road safety seriously and undertook a number of “proactive and reactive” strategies.
“While Section 144A provides an offence for the driver of a motor vehicle failing to pass the rider of a bicycle at a sufficient distance, the onus as with any offence remains with the prosecution to prove each and every element of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt.”