Fairfax Media’s take on Accident Research Centre study

A recent article in The Age cites a study by Monash University’s Accident Research Centre claiming that 87 percent of near-crash events between cyclists and motorists were the fault of motorists, and yet the video at the top of the article is a timelapse of a busy intersection in Melbourne where apparently there were “traffic infractions mostly involving cyclists”. There is no explanation in the article about why the video appears to contradict the study by the Accident Research Centre, and since many people will only watch the video and not read the entire article it is disingenuous and misleading to link that video with the study. Reporting of this kind adds to the dangerous perception by motorists that cyclists are rogue elements who just get in the way of cars. On the strength of recent studies there has been a push by many European governments to make all accidents involving cyclists the fault of the motorists and thus put the onus on the motorist to prove otherwise. In fact, the laws in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany are heavily skewed in favour of the cyclists, for those governments feel that the vehicle with the most potential for damage to other road users (the more powerful vehicle) should be assumed to be at fault. Similar laws have be proposed in regard to motorist-pedestrian accidents.

The Accident Research Centre study is here.

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