Cyclist, Mr. Ian Cognito, was found guilty yesterday of running a red light at Ruthven and Long Street and crashing into a four wheel drive, killing all the occupants.
Cognito said “A spider dropped from my helmet visor and I didn’t see the red light”.
Police prosecutor, Senior Sgt. John Smythe, told magistrate Peter Kantblamecars that Cognito was cycling recklessly when he hit the four wheel drive with such force the two tonne vehicle was turned over, killing all four inside.
Emergency service personnel treated Cognito for shock at the scene.
Magistrate Kantblamecars fined Cognito $500 and suspended his bike licence for two months.
Cognito applied for and was granted a work licence having claimed that he couldn’t “earn a quid” if he was denied cycling the two kilometres to work, “besides”, Cognito said, “I haven’t walked anywhere for years”.
Outside the court Cognito was heard to remark that “Four wheel drives belong on the pavement and shouldn’t be taking up space on the roads because they are such a danger to cyclists”.
A RACQ spokesperson said the motoring lobby group was trying to keep four wheel drives off pavements because of the problems caused to pedestrians, especially when school children are being encouraged to walk to school more.
A spokesperson for the Department of Transport advised that more bicycles were sold than cars each year and that four wheel drivers had to accept they were in a minority and take their place on the pavement.
A Toowoomba Regional Council officer agreed that the road was no place for four wheel drives, and they were building 2.5 metre wide shared pedestrian and 4WD paths as quickly as they could, but drivers of these vehicles had to be patient “Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all”.
4WD drivers were reminded that while using shared paths they must pull over and stop to give way to pedestrians, give way to all cyclists while crossing side streets and they must get out and push their car at roundabouts and traffic light controlled crossings.
The TRC Four Wheel Drive and Pedestrian Strategy has been in place for some years but none of the 63 action points have yet been addressed, according to the 4WD Drive Users Group.