Cycle club urges motorists to share

Cyclists Nicholas Burke and David Manton were hit by a car in Unanderra on Tuesday. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI
Cyclists Nicholas Burke and David Manton were hit by a car in Unanderra on Tuesday. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

Illawarra Cycle Club has called on motorists to consider how much "a metre matters" after three members were hit and injured during a morning ride in Unanderra on Tuesday.

One of the riders, Wollongong solicitor Nicholas Burke, suffered cuts and bruises and an injury to his right shoulder during the accident which happened on the Princes Highway at 8.25am.

Mr Burke said two other cyclists, Scott Brodie and David Manton, also suffered cuts and bruises and their bicycles were damaged when a P-plater made a sudden left-hand turn in front of them.

"We were travelling in the left-hand lane when the car came up from behind in the right-hand lane and then, without indicating, turned left harshly into the service station," he said.

"We hit the side of the car and were dragged into the entrance of the service station - we were lucky we were not trapped under the car."

Emergency services were quickly on the scene and paramedics treated the men for minor injuries.

Police also attended and the driver was issued with an infringement notice for failing to change lanes safely.

"It seems that motorists are becoming less and less tolerant of cyclists, but they just need to have a bit more patience and give them more room," Mr Burke said.

"Cyclists can travel between 30km/h and 50km/h, so if cars are merging into a lane in front of cyclists, then they need to account for that."

Illawarra Cycle Club vice-president Simon Britten reiterated his call for motorists to be more vigilant after Tuesday's accident.

It comes after six cyclists were admitted to hospital after being hit by a four-wheel-drive on Southern Cross Drive near Sydney Airport last month.

"There seems to be more and more of these accidents, and it's sickening when it happens to your clubmates and friends," Mr Britten said.

"Motorists and cyclists need to share the road peacefully - I'm also a motorist and I do see some cyclists doing the wrong thing too.

"But with more and more cyclists on the road, it's up to all of us to have greater awareness on the road."

Mr Britten said the club supported the Amy Gillett Foundation (AGF) which is campaigning to get the Australian road rules amended to force drivers to allow a minimum of one metre when overtaking bike riders on the road.

"Cyclists are not protected by the steel around them - they are far more vulnerable and need the protection of space," he said. "A metre does matter, and can save cyclists from serious injury and death."

Mr Britten urged people to sign the AGF petition here.

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