Teen cyclist hit by car
KURTIS Rose is still in shock after being hit by a car while riding his bicycle near Alstonville last week.
The 16-year-old can barely sleep, and when he does he has nightmares.
“I just think that the car is going to hit me again. My whole body tenses up,” he said.
Kurtis, of East Lismore, was riding along the Teven-Tintenbar Road last Tuesday afternoon when he heard a car coming up behind him at the site of some roadworks.
He veered to the right in an attempt to get out of the car's way, but the driver tried to overtake him at the same time.
Watching the collision, Kurtis's friend thought his mate was dead.
The driver of the car took the boys to a friend's house, and later took Kurtis to hospital.
“I was lucky I didn't break anything. But I've got all these grazes on my hands, knees, on my hip and elbows,” he said.
“At the time I didn't really know what had happened. I couldn't feel anything. I was numb.
“Now I'm too scared to drive or get on my bike.”
His mum, Tina Rose, said she was 'hysterical' when the friend rang to tell her what happened.
“I wanted to call an ambulance. I had no idea how badly he was hurt,” she said.
“He hasn't been himself since then. It's really hard to see him like this.”
Unfortunately, Kurtis isn't the only cyclist to experience danger on the roads.
Darryl Pursey, of Harris Cycles in Lismore, said 'driver stupidity' combined with bad road conditions caused a lot of trouble for bike riders.
“You have a close encounter every time you get on your bike,” he said.
“More and more people are riding now, so the problem is just getting worse.
“I won't ride around the Lismore CBD. It's a no-go zone. I don't go on the highways either.
“We need cycleways along the side of the road because they are the safest and best option.
“It would be great to have a network of dedicated cycleways, but I don't think we are going to see that in our lifetime.”
Cr Jenny Dowell, president of the Northern Rivers Regional Organisation of Councils, said improving cycleways was 'certainly on the agenda' for every council.
“Councils are particularly looking at the roads that link our towns to our villages,” she said.
“They are narrow and windy and particularly difficult for cyclists.
“But we want to promote cycling for environmental and health benefits. However, we don't want to expose people to danger by promoting cycling in areas where it is not safe.
“It is a dilemma for local councils. There is always debate.”