Memorial for cyclists an opportunity to reflect on road safety

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canberra cyclist memorial

On Saturday the Canberra cycling community gathered at a memorial to commemorate the two women who were recently killed riding bikes on local roads. The memorial was organised by Pedal Power ACT and cycle safety organisation the Amy Gillett Foundation in conjunction with the families of the riders, Teresa Foce and Kathy Ho.

"This year in the space of just a few months, we have tragically lost two riders in road accidents with vehicles," said Pedal Power CEO Ian Ross. "As a community, we have been deeply saddened by the deaths of Teresa and Kathy. We grieve for the needless loss of two strong women in our communities, and for their families left behind, and we all know that it could have been any one of us."

“Both women were strong riders who found great joy and achievement in cycling. We are honoured to support two families who even in the midst of great personal grief and sorrow, are committed to doing everything they can to making our roads safer so that no others will have to endure the loss of lives cut short so tragically."

“We all want to get home safely and we all have a responsibility to look out for each other and take care on our roads. People on bikes simply don’t have the same protection around them as people in cars,” said Amy Gillett Foundation Director Jane Seaborn.

Despite the introduction of minimum passing distance laws, Pedal Power receive constant feedback from our community about drivers taking dangerous risks when driving near people on bicycles, seemingly unaware of their legal responsibilities, and the potential impacts of their behaviour on vulnerable road users such as cyclists. Pedal Power has long been advocating for improvements to cycle infrastructure to make cycling safer in the ACT and is currently working with the Australasian College of Road Safety to review safety on rural roads in the region.

“To avoid tragedies like these, we need to change driver behaviour. When driving people need to concentrate on driving, put the phone out of reach safety and on do not disturb so they can constantly be on the look for other road users, especially vulnerable cyclists,” said Ms Seaborn.

To help the Amy Gillett Foundation improve road safety tax-deductible donations can be made at www.amygillett.org.au/donate

Image: Mone Foce, Tine Foce, Michael Kearney and Mark Grundy at the memorial at the Canberra Rotary Peace Bell in Nara Park.

Read the Canberra Times article on the memorial.

Read Mark Grundy's obituary for his wife Kathy Ho.

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