At 7:15 AM. Drink driving at 7:15 AM!
Australia's continued hand-slap punishments for drink driving are a large part of the problem. Here we have (allegedly) a young driver who didn't have the sense to drive sober. And bicyclists are prime targets to drink drivers. Frankly speaking, in a region like FNQ that leads Australia in drink driving arrests, bicycling is for fools. But it shouldn't be that way.
According to the Queensland Police, Cairns has historically had a much higher rate of bicycle vs. auto accidents. With the huge size and weight disparity, it's obvious who loses that battle. This week, Ms. Roneberg. In January 2009, Dr. Hassam Elshazly. He was killed on the Cook Highway at the Trinity Beach roundabout, which a coroner's inquest found grossly inadequate for safe bicycle travel. With FNQ roads known to be substandard relative to Brisbane, structural changes to these roundabouts that had been ignored by Main Roads for years suddenly got done quick-smart.
While people quite often criticise the American legal system
that seems to be "lawsuit crazy", it's this access to the legal system and financial penalties that serve to stop this kind of government bullshit there. Dr. Elshazly was the first to be killed at these substandard roundabouts, but bicycle riders for decades had complained about the unsafe nature of these non-standard roundabouts. Lawsuits filed against Main Roads would have gotten them fixed much earlier, and saved Dr. Elshazly's life.
Just this week, the Bob "Sleepy" Manning council approved expenditure of $2.8M to begin work on the Southern Cycleway, running from the CBD to Woree. This bikeway comes from the (dis)Unity Council, despite the fact that many of these same councillors threw rocks at former Mayor Val Schier and her council's construction of the Aeroglen cycleway! And the Manning council is getting a much smaller contribution from Gavin King's LNP for it. Two-faced politics is alive and well.
Cueball MacKenzie used the Aeroglen bikeway as an attack platform on the Schier council, and many of the usual callers were goaded to pile on. The same cretins have been silent as the Manning council spends a similar amount for the Southern Bikeway. And some of the biggest attacks on the cycleway projects have been from UnSir Bob Norman, failed ice cream entrepreneur, rejected Chamber president, and now hospital czar. Norman claims to have found a map that uses the Spence Street right-of-way as additional southern access to the CBD, and then whinges about the lack of forward planning in Cairns. Conveniently ignoring his long tenure as Chamber of Commerce head, Norman needs a good mirror to see one of the city's major shortcomings.
On Friday, "Ken the Cabbie", a hillbilly regular, bitched and moaned to Cr. Schilling that "he wouldn't see five bicycles a week coming into the CBD from the south". Schilling is known to hate the bikeways, but like all councillors succumbed to the lure of state funding. With this council knocking back over $120M in Australia's most expensive "get square" against the previous council, it's looking that they've learned their lesson.
Sadly however we've had another killing on our roads of an innocent cyclist by someone who'll get a slap on the wrist and out on the highways again soon.
UPDATE: THE "UNNAMED" (WTF IS THAT ALL ABOUT) 19-YEAR-OLD ALLEGED KILLER HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH ONE COUNT OF DANGEROUS DRIVING CAUSING DEATH, AND ONE OF DRINK DRIVING.
WHY HAS HE BEEN UNDERCHARGED? HE SHOULD BE CHARGED WITH MANSLAUGHTER.