Cyclists capture close call with camper on camera

THREE Hobart cyclists are lucky to be alive after two were struck by a campervan just outside of Richmond.

Frightening footage, captured on the rear-view camera of one of the bikes, shows the incident on Richmond Rd, 35km north-east of Hobart.

The three experienced cyclists were riding in single-file on the edge of the road yesterday when the van narrowly missed the rear rider before colliding with the front two.

The side of the van hit the middle rider and the front cyclist was struck by the side mirror.

The cyclists were shaken by the incident but escaped with minor bruising.

"We were on about six inches of road. It went past my head by millimetres," one of the cyclists, Paulina Martin, said.

The van, with interstate plates, was being driven by a female tourist.

Stills from footage off a bike camera that shows a rider being hit by a rental campervan on Richmond Rd, 35km north-east of Hobart.
Stills from footage off a bike camera that shows a rider being hit by a rental campervan on Richmond Rd, 35km north-east of Hobart.

Police attended the scene and the woman driver was allowed to continue to Richmond. It is not known if the driver was charged.

Scott Pickersgill, the rider struck by the side of the van, said in many ways some of the responsibility for such incidents rested with hire companies.

"Let's face it, there are crappy drivers everywhere. But these international tourists didn't know the rules and couldn't drive to start with so shouldn't have been allowed to drive a hire vehicle," he said.

"She said: 'Big mirror. Sorry.' "

The cyclists said they would also be reporting the incident to the car hire company and Cycling Tasmania.

Stills from footage off a bike camera that shows a rider being hit by a rental campervan on Richmond Rd, 35km north-east of Hobart.
Stills from footage off a bike camera that shows a rider being hit by a rental campervan on Richmond Rd, 35km north-east of Hobart.

The incident comes as Federal Liberal backbencher Sarah Henderson has called for a review of tourist car-rental standards.

Ms Henderson wants a more stringent approach to international driver's licences and has called for a review.

She also suggested compulsory safety videos for all international tourists hiring cars, and urged car hire companies to impose stricter standards before renting out vehicles.

In 2015 a Tasmanian branch of the Country Women's Association called for compulsory driving lessons for all overseas drivers because of accidents on country roads involving tourists.

The CWA members from George Town and Lilydale called mandatory tutorials for all drivers arriving in Australia - either in the form of computer or personal tutorials.

A year ago, Police Minister Rene Hidding ruled out introducing T-plates for motoring tourists despite the death of seven visitors on Tasmanian roads in 2016.

Mr Hidding said T-plates had no clear benefits and were a discriminatory action against interstate and international drivers that would deter tourists from coming to Tasmania.

News Corp Australia


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