BE KIND: Dr Peter English says road safety is everyone's responsibility and drivers and cyclists should be mindful about sharing the road.
BE KIND: Dr Peter English says road safety is everyone's responsibility and drivers and cyclists should be mindful about sharing the road. John McCutcheon

Academic says road safety is 'everybody's responsibility'

UNIVERSITY of the Sunshine Coast lecturer and researcher Dr Peter English says road safety is everyone's responsibility.

The recreational cyclist researched public perceptions of bicycle riders after the one metre safe passing laws were introduced in Queensland.

He found reader contributions to news stories were "normally anti-cyclist".

"It showed that people often weren't sure about the rules, but also when they saw cyclists they were thinking bad things about them, which as a cyclist is slightly worrying," he said.

Mr English, a husband and father, has had countless incidents while cycling on Coast roads. Thankfully, however, he has never been deliberately hit.

"Nobody I know has been run into in an aggressive way, but there are some people out there who just feel that they can sort of exhibit their aggression towards cyclists," he said.

He said Cameron's Frewer's death had "hit close to home" how vulnerable people can be.

"He's like everyone I ride with," he said.

"All of the people I ride with are dads with families."

In Mr English's experience, cycling was a great sport for middle-aged men, particularly for their mental health.

"We're guys sitting around chatting about things ... that we certainly don't do at work, and we may not do in social situations," he said.

"There are lots of benefits."

Road safety was something drivers and cyclists both needed to think about, Mr English said.

"Sharing the responsibility on the roads is a key thing," he said.

"We want to be able to get home safely.

"If a cyclist is going through a red light, they should be fined. And if people are going too close to cyclists, well then if that can be proved, that's something that needs to be followed through."

At the end of the day, Mr English said people should just "be nicer to each other".

"The person riding is a mum or a dad or a friend, somebody that you should just go around instead of being frustrated at."