Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

'We're All Brothers': Stay Safe; Attitude Change Needed

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

'We're All Brothers': Stay Safe; Attitude Change Needed

Article excerpt

Byline: Ashley Carter

A HEATED debate about road safety may have sparked a divide between Sunshine Coast drivers and cyclists, but there are still those who can see the issue from both sides.

Coast truck driver Dave Matthews said he "can't believe the attitude" of some drivers regarding the one metre safe passing laws.

A cyclist himself, Mr Matthews said he was always conscious of giving a safe gap when driving.

"But with the general public, it's just horrible," he said.

"I think that unless you're a cyclist, triathlete, or someone that rides on the road, everyone's got no empathy for anyone other than themselves on the road. "It's just ridiculous."

Mr Matthews said drivers should learn to be patient and share the road, especially as the Coast was a sought-after destination for triathlons and professional athletes.

"We've got the triathlon Mecca of Australia here, all the pro athletes want to train here," he said.

"I just can't believe the attitude, it's not even a minute sometimes, it's half a minute that they're delayed. And yet they've got to try and run over someone, or abuse someone for that 15-second delay."

With his rugby league days behind him, Mr Matthews first got into cycling as a way to keep fit.

"Someone said, 'why don't you try a triathlon?' And then I was hooked," he said. "It's a fun way of getting fit."

Since then, he's had countless near misses on Coast roads because of drivers either not paying attention, or deliberately venting their frustrations with him.

"Whether it's coming to a roundabout where people don't see me, or just see me and go 'well I'm bigger' ... or whether it's just trying to get off the road for people, and yet they still won't give you that space," he said. …

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