MP's plea for cyclist safety on ‘absolute death trap’
A SUNSHINE Coast Federal MP says it's time for action on a notorious stretch after the tragic death of cyclist David Halliwell last weekend.
Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said Steve Irwin Way, where Mr Halliwell was hit and killed last Saturday, needed significant improvements to make the road safe for all road users.
He said there were parts of the notorious stretch that were "absolute death traps".
"I have never been more concerned for my own welfare than what I was when I was doing the Tour de Fisher and I was riding on Steve Irwin Way," Mr Wallace said.
A long-term cyclist, Mr Wallace said he knew first-hand the risks cyclists faced on the Sunshine Coast.
"I don't think there's been one ride that I would have been on in the last 12 months where I wouldn't have had an incident of some description," he said.
He said people opening their car doors and walking in front of cyclists as well as drivers passing too close were just some of the challenges riders faced.
Under Queensland law, drivers are required to leave at least 1m of space between their car and a cyclist in 60km/h or under zones, and at least 1.5m where the speed limit is above 60km/h.
Mr Wallace pleaded with drivers to follow those laws and shore more respect to cyclists.
"That person has as much right to go home at the end of the day as anybody else," he said.
"And the person that killed someone in a motor vehicle accident has to live with that for the rest of their life.
"Slow down and be respectful."
Mr Halliwell and cycling safety advocate Cameron Frewer were killed while riding the same hinterland route, which Mr Fisher says is "more than acceptable" for cyclists to travel along.
But he said once Steve Irwin Way passed the Landsborough turn off, heading south, it was a "death trap".
"There is zero room for error from the cyclist, and zero room for error from the passing motorist," he said.
"If they're trucks, even less so. It's just downright so dangerous."
Mr Wallace said it was up to the State Government and the council to ensure the road, and other major Coast stretches, were safe for all road users.
"State and local governments have got a responsibility to either add those verging lanes or put in some bike tracks," he said.