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The following forms the shell of RideStrong / BikeNZ submission. If you agree, sign the petition now.
> Cyclists are our most vulnerable road users. Increasing safety for cyclists will benefit all road users and New Zealand as a whole.
> A safe cycling environment will only be created if a whole of system approach is implemented
> Increasing safety for cyclists must be a high priority.
Make 1.5 metres of space a legal requirement to pass
There is a fundamental lack of understanding of the risk motorists pose to cyclists - with fatal consequences. Explicit legal provision is required to ensure motorists give cyclists 1.5metres of room when passing. Legal provision is critical to reinforce safe driving behaviour as the current advisory approach has failed to deliver safe outcomes.
Furthermore, the 1.5m legal provission has a number of flow on effects.
Road User Education and Awareness - Motorist and Cyclists
The dangers faced by cyclists from other road users are largely a result of misjudgement or failure to see a cyclist. Motorists need to be better educated, aware and demonstrate safe driving practices toward cyclists. If there is not 1.5 metres clearance to pass a cyclist safely, road users should wait until they can safety perform their overtaking manoeuvre. Motorists must scan for cyclists, particularly around intersections.
Cyclists too have a duty of responsibility to other road users. BikeNZ's Cyclist Code identifies behaviours to be responsible to other road users and to keep cyclists safe.
Safer Roads and Routes
Increasingly our roads are becoming unsafe for cyclists. Our roading network has undergone significant development with little or no specific provision for cyclists. Greater commitment needs to be given to providing a range of cycling infrastructure through spatially separating cyclists and motorists. This includes;
* Providing separate cycle paths
* Providing 1.5 metre road shoulders or cycle lanes to keep cyclists and motorists apart where the road speed zone is greater than 50kph, or where large cyclist or traffic volumes are present.
* Allocate space for cyclists on major cycling routes where the existing road is wide enough to accommodate cycle lanes.
* Establish a cycleway network utilising low speed, low traffic volume roads
Providing for Children.
Children under 12 years of age are the most vulnerable members of our society. It is unacceptable that we legally require all children to cycle on the road with other road users placing them at significant risk. Children under the age of 12 should legally be allowed to ride on foot paths where they are not competent or it is unsafe for them to ride on the road. Shared paths and safe routes need to be provided within our communities to enable children to cycle to school and to other facilities.
Lower Speed Zones
Speed of motorists constitutes a significant risk to cyclists and pedestrians, both toward the likelihood and consequence of a crash. In residential and urban areas, the speed of vehicles needs to be reduced to reduce the risk posed to cyclists and pedestrians.
Enforcement – fines
Instant fines have proven to be an effective and important tool to promote safer driving. Instant fines should be introduced to reinforce safe road use around cyclists. Actions that endanger cyclists, passing within 1.5 metres or opening a car door on a cyclist should incur an instant fine.
Vote now for 1.5m for the 1.5 million cyclists in New Zealand.
The RideStrong Community www.ridestrong.org.nz. Giving New Zealand's cyclists a voice to improve cycling conditions for all.
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