28 Sep 2009

...and cycling's national body wants safer rules too

9:08 pm on 28 September 2009

The national body for cycling says a campaign aimed at promoting tolerance between motorists and cyclists is not improving road safety fast enough and the Government should change the law.

BikeNZ wants the Government to support a law change giving cyclists 1.5 metres of room when passing.

The call comes after four people were hospitalised, one critically, when a car collided with a group of cyclists in Auckland on Saturday.

BikeNZ's cycling development manager, John Willmer, says the lack of clear guidelines for motorists on how to drive around cyclists is not helping.

A campaign called Share the Road is not making an impact, he says, and it's time for a change of law.

Meanwhile, the Ponsonby Business Association says that reducing the speed limit on Auckland's Ponsonby Rd has made a dramatic difference to the safety of all road users and helped lessen driver angst.

The comments come after a call from Cycle Action Auckland to reduce the speed limit on Tamaki Drive - scene of Saturday's crash.

The group's Barbara Cuthbert says a limit of 40km/h coupled with narrower lanes would make the road safer.

Auckland City Mayor John Banks opposes that idea, arguing that it won't stop illegal behaviour or road rage, but Ponsonby Business Association general manager Justin Bade says that even though their new limit has been in effect for less than a week, the impact has been dramatic.

One of the four cyclists injured in the Tamaki drive collision remains in a critical condition.