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Geraldton cycle club calls for better road safety information after motorist left cyclist paralysed

A Geraldton cycling club is calling for better road safety education in the wake of a local motorist being convicted last week of intentionally driving into a man on his bike.

A jury on Friday found Paul Stuart Meadowcroft guilty of deliberately putting the life, health, or safety of German backpacker Steve Zimmerman at risk following a road-rage incident on April 1, 2021.

After an altercation at the Bayly Street roundabout, Mr Zimmerman cursed at Meadowcroft in German and continued on his way home.

Meadowcroft passed the cyclist before he doubled back, crossed over onto the wrong side of the road and drove into Mr Zimmermann, who had been using the footpath.

The now 32-year-old has been diagnosed a tetraplegic and is not likely to ever walk again.

Meadowcroft, who pleaded not guilty, will be sentenced in Perth on June 14. He faces a maximum of 20 years’ prison.

Spokes Cycle Club president Tim Glenister said local cyclists had been cautious of motorists for some time, with most avoiding busy roads and highways around Geraldton.

“I know a lot of cyclists who will not use the dual carriageway on Brand Highway going into town, especially when the road is busy, because it is too dangerous,” he said.

Geraldton posed a unique challenge to cyclists with its many roundabouts, with Mr Glenister’s wife Barbara saying many motorists were unaware of how to safely give way to bike riders.

“I think our biggest sticking point is roundabouts, where motorists don’t realise we must go to the middle of the lane because the white line we usually ride within disappears at all roundabouts and there is nowhere for cyclists to go,” she said.

“We are advised to ride in the middle of the lane and indicate just as a motorist would do. That sometimes enrages motorists.”

The couple said they would like to see more information being made available to road users to ensure all could get to their destinations safely.

“(Road safety awareness) is something that is ongoing, and it is also just about being respectful and patient of all road users,” Mr Glenister said.

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