When cyclists pay road tax….

The scene of a fatal crash between a cyclist and a truck in South Brisbane. Photo: Tony Moore via Brisbane Times

A young cyclist was sadly killed in Brisbane recently — 22-year-old Rebekka Meyer was waiting, legally, at a red light when she was hit by a truck.

You’d think that this tragedy would evoke sympathy from everyone — an innocent person lost their life, after all. Obviously everyone will agree to improve the intersection, so this accident can never happen again. Right?

Instead, this was the first comment posted:

This seems to be a common refrain among a section of drivers — until cyclists pay road tax, they have no right to complain. In fact they have no rights at all, and can hardly complain if they’re killed.

There are multiple flaws with this argument (like, um - there’s no such thing as road tax, and even if Rebekka had wanted to pay, there’s no-one to send the cheque to).

But let’s take the complaint at face value. Does the amount of tax that we pay determine how much we contribute to society?

Another cyclist was killed in Sydney while riding on the road. Dr Henry Sueke was a paediatric ophthalmologist at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, working to help sick kids.

He didn’t pay road tax either. But don’t you think he contributed a lot more to society than someone sitting in their car, smug and entitled in the knowledge they’ve paid their way?