Speeding: a radar gun catches cyclists riding at more than the posted 10km/h limit. Picture: John Hart
CYCLE hoons blatantly ignoring speed limits are endangering the lives of pedestrians, according to a Herald Sun survey yesterday.
A Herald Sun survey yesterday found fewer than 3 per cent of bike riders along Southbank Promenade obeyed the speed limit signs restricting them to 10km/h.
Bike riders were weaving between peak-hour pedestrians at speeds of up to 29km/h, despite the prominent speed restriction signs.
"They're just up as a warning thing. It's like 'Please don't feed the birds' signs," a city-based police officer said.
"It's a commonsense thing. Police ride along there many times a day and if someone is doing the wrong thing they're given a talking to.
"It's a separate offence for cyclists not wearing a helmet or running a red light. But there isn't one for cyclists and speeding."
Influential Melbourne City councillor and chair of the planning committee, Catherine Ng, said bike behaviour must improve.
"Speed does kill, and no one would like to face the fact that they kill or injure someone with a bike," Cr Ng said.
"I checked with our engineers, who checked the Road Safety Act, and according to them the speed limit signs do apply, and can be enforced.
"There are some aggressive cyclists. They need to understand their impact on others."
The Herald Sun survey, carried out using a carefully calibrated radar gun and an expert operator from Australasian Traffic Surveys, found the average speed of bike riders in the 10km/h zone was 18.5km/h.
More than 77 per cent of riders were travelling faster than 15km/h; 40 per cent of bikes checked were doing more than 20km/h.
One man wobbled through walkers at 17km/h with one hand controlling his bike while talking on a mobile phone.
A female rider was dodging pedestrians one-handed while drinking from her water bottle with the other.
And another male rider cruised through the crowds entirely hands-free.
Pedestrian Peter Treagus, on his way to work at the Nyrstar office on Southbank Boulevard, labelled the bike hoons dangerous. "Someone will have to get seriously hurt before they start enforcing the speed limit," he said.
Rider Rowan Lamont, who was clocked at 18km/h, pedals into work every day from Footscray.
"The alternative is to ride on the roads," he said.
"I've never hit a pedestrian, but I have been hit by a car and the result wasn't pretty."
Few of the cyclists appeared to slow down yesterday, even after seeing the radar gun, but only one became abusive and suggested pedestrians should get out of his way.
The general manager of Bicycle Victoria, Harry Barber, said it was unacceptable for riders to speed through the area.
"If anyone is going through there at 30km/h they need to be booked," he said.
"We've got no problem with the police booking riders who are behaving outrageously."