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Share The Road

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

This time of the year sees an increase in cycle traffic on our roads. Some of these cyclists are commuting to work or school while others are riding for fitness or pleasure.

With this increase comes and increase in the risk for cyclists and motorists as they share the road with two very different modes of transport. Each has a role to play in ensuring the safety of all.

Motorists need to ensure they leave plenty of room for cyclists. In a 'Share the road' campaign running throughout Auckland until March 2010 drivers are urged to give cyclists 1.5 metres of room as they pass and to watch out for bikes. Occasionally motorists will have to exercise patience as they wait for an appropriate opportunity to pass a cyclist safely.

Cyclists have their part to play also. Highly visible clothing and cycle helmets are a must. Also the road rules that apply to motorists also apply to cyclists - Stop at the stop signs and red lights and give way when required.

Also when riding in a pack remember that you are likely to be travelling slower than other traffic. If you are blocking a lane and holding up traffic you may cause an impatient driver to take a risk that could lead to someone being hurt.

Road Policing Senior Sergeant Mike Stopforth from Counties Manukau Police says "With councils introducing cycle lanes and encouraging people to take more sustainable means of transport there are more cyclists on the road. Motor vehicles and Bicycles travel at different speeds, often on the same piece of road. This means drivers and riders have to be very alert of each other and predictable in their actions. When a bike and a car come together in a crash, the consequences can be devastating."

Between 2003 and 2008 five cyclists died on Auckland roads, 208 were seriously injured and 957 received minor injuries. 96% of these crashes were in urban areas with more than half at intersections.

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