Consider all road users

By Didier Stobart

White Bike Foundation director Chris Savage rode through Benalla last week during his 1700km ride to educate and protect road-sharers.

Savage is riding in memory of talented cyclist Joel Hawkins who he coached and mentored.

The 17-year-old was a victim of dangerous driving causing death while on a training ride in 2015.

The aim of the foundation is to educate and protect road-users across Australia.

Savage arrived at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday after cycling from Dromana.

‘‘I rode 1700km to mark Joel’s 17 years with us,’’ Savage said.

‘‘It hurt, but nothing will come close to the emotional pain inflicted when a person is taken from us in a road casualty.

‘‘We want all road-sharers to take one extra second before acting on a decision — to make sure it is the safest option.

‘‘There are a lot of organisations out there who carry the road safety message and, while they are doing great work, many are saying the same thing in a different way.

‘‘We want to unify that voice.’’

Joel’s mother Liza Hawkins believes everyone needs to hear the message on road safety.

‘‘We want the message to spread far and wide, because we believe that everybody has the right to use the road safely and complete every journey,’’ she said.

During the 12 months ending in January 2018, there were 1234 road casualties in Australia, according to The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE).

‘‘It only takes a second for a road-user to double check they are making the safest decision for everybody — life is such a vulnerable thing and the impact of a road casualty is absolutely devastating to all communities involved,’’ Joel’s father Leslie Hawkins said.

‘‘Joel was respected by everybody who met him because he was such a loving person with a wonderful ethos and tenacious approach to life — on and off the bike.’’

●To donate to the White Bike Foundation, visit