Cycle safety

Without knowing anything more about the circumstances than what has been reported, it was pretty disturbing to hear multi sport’s Coast to Coast star Steve Gurney was involved in a car accident while cycling in Christchurch. However, it’s a good reminder that there is only one day left to sign the Cycle Advocacy Network’s 9-Point Plan for Cycle Safety Petition.  According to the Cycle Advocacy Network’s Chairperson, Robert Ibell:

The petition calls (among other things) for government to take steps to reduce motor vehicle speeds through reducing the tolerance for speed enforcement and increasing the use of lower speed limits. It also asks for the balance of expenditure on transport to move away from building more road capacity (which often leads to more and faster traffic) towards more sustainable alternatives, such as cycling, walking and public transport.

Internationally and in this country (e.g. the NZ Transport Strategy) reducing motor vehicle volumes and speeds are seen as the two most important steps to take to improve the safety and appeal of cycling on our roads. These two steps need to form the core of any cycle safety campaign.

13 Comments Posted

  1. Owen, fair point. Maybe we could even apportion the roading $ according to how many innocent people are killed by each mode of transport.

    Maybe tax the cars according to the real danger they pose.

    eg: tax each and every diesel 4wd about $5000 per annum as a penalty for the damage they (potentially) do to pedestrians, cyclists, Daihatsu Mira drivers and property.

    Tax each bike $100 as a token contribution.

    Gas scooters about $250

    Daihatsu Mira drivers about $350.

    Suzuki Cappucinos about $500.

    Priuses about $600

    Corollas about $1500

    Commodores/Falcons about $3000

    etc etc

    I believe we should aim for a continuation of the ‘personal fleet’ concept, rather than a total reliance on public transport. The point you raise about funding the costs of roads is a valid point.

    If we all took the bus, where would the tax come from??

  2. It is a sad fact that as cyclists increase in numbers so does their death and accident rate -unless they are able to ride on dedicated cycle ways.
    The problem is that the people who advocate cycling are strong advocates of motorists paying their full way but seem to believe that cyclists should get a totally free ride. IF they want motorists to pay for cycle lanes out of the petrol tax then don ‘t be surprised if motorists start saying if we have to pay for our lanes then you should pay for yours.

  3. Trevor, I stand corrected. Definitely showing my age to repeat verbatim what I had drummed into me way back when I was learning to drive.

  4. Kevyn says: Oh no, the footpath has the same legal status as a marked pedestrian crossing.

    Thanks for that. So just to clarify: Does that a driver of a car hitting a pedestrian on a footpath crossing a driveway would automatically be in the wrong? (I can well imagine small children or people running on the footpath without taking any cognisance of driveway activity.)

  5. Kevyn – how sure are you that a cyclist in a cycle lane has to be able to stop in half the visible distance? To me, that would assume the possibility of another cyclist travelling in the opposite direction in the same lane. If the cycle lane is a lane marked on the road, then it should be usable in only one direction, and would then have the same status as any other road lane or a road with a marked centre line, which requires the vehicles (cycles in this case) to be able to stop within the visible clear road.


  6. kjuv, Oh no, the footpath has the same legal status as a marked pedestrian crossing. I don’t actually know what the legal status is at T intersection or a major/minor crossroad. Is the footpath deemed to continue across the T or not? When I’m driving I assume it is and when I’m walking I assume it isn’t. That seems to be the safest approach.

  7. Hey, thanks for providing the link re the cycling action petition. I hadn’t heard about it and am pleased I got the chance to sign before it was too late. cheers.

  8. Kevyn Says: (legally every driveway entrance is an intersection).

    Oh.. does that mean that pedestrians do not always have right of way on the footpath when crossing over a driveway?

  9. Here is some more detail on the crash. It happened approaching major road works on the main City to Sumner road at 5.30pm, so the speed of cars will not have been part of the cause.

    In these particular circumstances wherein a cyclist is able to travel freely in a cycle lane alongside stationary lanes of cars there is a legal obligation on the cyclist to travel at a speed at which they can stop “within half the length of the visible roadway” or at a speed which is not “too fast for the conditions”. The same is true for buses in bus lanes with the crucial difference that buses are visible to turning drivers at a greater distance from the intersection (legally every driveway entrance is an intersection).

    See the road layout (Ferry Rd/Humphey’s Dr) here:

    Comments from Steve Gurney and Derek Erasmus on Christchurch cycling injuries here:

  10. What someone needs to invent is a shopping basket bike trailor. You raise it at the supermarket and lower it when attaching it to the bike.

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