18 Nov 2010

Five cyclists killed on roads in under a week

8:09 pm on 18 November 2010

A third cyclist has died in hospital after a weekend crash in Waikato, while a girl cycling to school was seriously injured on Thursday in Marlborough.

Five cyclists have now died after crashes on the roads in less than a week.

Two cyclists were killed after a car collided with a group of riders near Morrinsville over the weekend.

A third was critically injured and police say she died on Thursday morning.

She was Kay Heather Wolfe, 45, of Gordonton.

Jane Bishop, 27, was killed on Tamaki Drive on Wednesday night when she fell beneath an oncoming truck after trying to avoid a parked car's opening door.

Cycle Action Auckland says it has been a week of pure hell for cyclists.

The Chief Coroner has indicated he may hold a coronial hearing into cycling safety.

Schoolgirl clipped

Blenheim police say a girl, 12, was badly injured when her bike was clipped and run over by the rear wheel of a truck and trailer unit about 8.20am on Thursday.

She suffered two broken hips and broken ribs and was to be flown to Starship Hospital in Auckland for further treatment.

Police say the crash happened on a section of State Highway 1 where road works are being carried out.

Drivers need to 'prove' competency

Cycling advocates say more needs to be done to stop cyclists being killed on the roads.

Cycling Advocates Network project manager Patrick Morgan says the network is calling for a range of measures, including re-testing drivers every 10 years.

He says recent events show people are generally bad drivers, and it is fair to ask drivers to prove they are competent.

Cycle Action North Rodney spokesperson Bevan Woodward says the group warned Auckland City Council in 2006 about the dangers of the exact spot Ms Bishop died.

He says he is sorry to say that the accident is not a surprise.

Officials act

Auckland Transport says it is bringing forward changes to cycling infrastructure on Tamaki Drive in a bid to prevent further tragic accidents.

Road corridor operations manager Andrew Allen says plans include widening the footpath by possibly constructing a boardwalk along the northern side of Tamaki Drive to accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists off road.

He says Auckland Transport will also work with the advocacy group Cycle Action Auckland to gain their views and suggestions on improving safety for cyclists.