Dave Matthews drives a truck and is also a cyclist. He urges all motorists to show respect on the roads.
Dave Matthews drives a truck and is also a cyclist. He urges all motorists to show respect on the roads. Warren Lynam

'We're all brothers': Change in attitude needed on roads

WHILE a heated debate about road safety has sparked a divide between Sunshine Coast drivers and cyclists, 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 1 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 Sunshine 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.

"I try and pick my roads where I want to go, I try and not ride in times where I think the traffic is going to be busy," he said.

"It's just unfortunate that I can't get out and ride when I want to because of this."

While Mr Matthews hasn't been involved in a crash himself, he has lost two close friends to road incidents, and had another friend be severely handicapped.

He said a change in drivers' attitudes could improve safety and reduce the amount of road incidents with cyclists.

"If people get used to going 40km/h in a school zone, I don't know why they can't change this," he said.

Do drivers need to change their attitudes towards cyclists on roads?

This poll ended on 20 December 2018.

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Everyone needs to change.


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As a truck driver, Mr Matthews said it wasn't hard to give cyclists a safe amount of space on the road, even if it meant he would his journey would be slightly delayed.

"You have to prepare for the width of the truck," he said.

"I think it's easier, but again it's the attitude."

While he said attitude couldn't fix everything, proper enforcement of safe passing laws would reduce the amount of casualties on Queensland roads.

"It just has to be enforced. There's no use having a law if it's not enforced," he said.

Mr Matthews said it wasn't just the responsibility of drivers to change attitudes around road safety.

"Cyclists also have to ... if one cyclist goes through a red light, then everyone's branded with it.

"Cyclists have to be weary of their surroundings. It's got to be both ways.

"But no matter what, whoever is in the wrong, the cyclist gets hurt."

He said drivers and cyclists were in it together.

"We're all fathers, we're all sons, we're all brothers, we're all God's friends," he said.