20 Jul 2008

Cycling group wants action on safety after deaths

7:18 am on 20 July 2008

A cycling lobby group is calling for urgent action to improve the safety of cyclists following two recent deaths.

The Cycling Advocates Network is petitioning the ministers of Transport, Police and Road Safety to urgently implement proposals to make cycling safer.

The petition is prompted by the recent deaths in Wellington of Des Eyre and Steve Fitzgerald.

CAN's spokesperson Stephen McKernon says their deaths highlight the urgency of improving road safety for cyclists.

Mr McKernon says it is shocking that cyclist deaths can occur without councils accepting any accountability or moral responsibility. He says the petition will be presented next week.

CAN is also urging for a coroner's review of the recent cycle deaths to look for systemic causes behind cycle crashes and to recommend remedial action.

It says their deaths highlight the urgency of improving road safety for cyclists.

The petition includes a nine-point plan covering cycling safety improvements through better planning, funding, promotion and speed limits.

The Ministry of Transport's Household Travel Survey shows there are about 1.3 million cyclists, making it one of New Zealand's most popular activities.