Today (June 23) is the 4th anniversary of the road-based incident that led to the tragic death of cyclist and Merimbula man, David Brand, who died on the 3rd July in 2018 in a Canberra hospital from injuries he sustained at Lochiel in the Bega Valley.
His widow, Louise Brand, has written a powerful letter to Eden Monaro MP, Kristy McBain, Member for Bega, Dr Michael Holland, Bega Valley Council CEO, Anthony McMahon and Minister for Active Transport, Rob Stokes with her call for the ongoing promotion of road safety, the pursuit of tolerance between drivers and cyclists in our shire and ongoing support for safe cycling infrastructure.
Louise endorses Council’s vision for the promotion of road safety: supporting off-road cycling, and family events which teach respect and tolerance on our roads between drivers and cyclists and specifically, endorsing:
- The re-introduction of the Bicycle NSW Bega Tathra Community Ride from Bega to Tathra in 2022 after a two year hiatus owing to Covid. The success of this venture in the past is well-documented with its promotion of road rules, respect and tolerance of all road users. Family values, community support for one another, using roads safely and preventing accidents are all valued and can be reinforced and taught through community rides. I commend Council for its past endorsement of such events.
- The completion of Stage 2 of the Bega to Tathra off-road cycleway. Given the very successful implementation of Stage 1 of this project through the diligence and collaborative effort between community groups such as the Bega Tathra Safe Ride team and Council, a template for future success is assured. Also, given the extensive plans in the region already to expand mountain bike paths in Mogo, Narooma and Eden, the extension of the cycleway from Kalaru to Bega would enhance our shire as an inclusive, family friendly destination for all forms of cycling. I commend Council for its past support of Stage 1, and look forward to their on-going support for Stage 2.
- The vision of a safe community, where all users of our road are safe to move freely is one to aspire to, to value and to be proud of. Implementing that vision by supporting the Bega to Tathra Community Ride and the completion of Stage 2 of the Bega to Tathra Bike Path would send a positive message to the community that visions can be achieved and harmful cultures can be shifted.
Secretary, of the Bega Tathra Safe Ride, and local Tathra resident, Doug Reckord, said Louise's input is highly valued.
"Louise has made an outstanding case for the value of safe cycling infrastructure and how respecting all road users must be everyone's priority when behind the wheel - drive so that others survive," Mr Reckord said.
"We cannot articulate the road safety education case more eloquently than Louise and we are humbled by her support."
Image: About Regional