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Give cyclists space, Council campaign urges

Media release Monday 27 January 2003

Give cyclists space, Council campaign urges

Making the city streets safer for cyclists by making motorists more aware of them is the aim of a new Christchurch City Council campaign called Share the Road.

“Cyclists have the same legal rights as other road users,” says Christchurch City Council cycling and pedestrian transport planner Michael Ferigo. “They have a right to share the road with motorists and feel safe doing so.”

Each year in December the Council does a survey on cycling. The most recent survey reveals that two thirds of people would ride bikes or ride them more often if the roads were safer. Of school pupils surveyed, 87 per cent felt the same way.

The campaign will run for two months in February and April. Cycling cartoons featuring frogs, pukekos and beagles will be used to highlight messages on buses and radio such as “ease your pace, and give us space”, “you know the code, share the road’ and “look right, look left, look bike”.

Mr Ferigo says Land Transport Safety Authority statistics show motorists are primarily responsible for 65 per cent of accidents between cyclists and motor vehicles.

“The more vehicles on the roads means more risk for cyclists, with most collisions occurring during commuting times,” he says. “However, the more cyclists on the road, the safer the road becomes for all road users. This can be seen in the Netherlands for example, where the large numbers of cyclists has resulted in less accidents because motorists have become more aware of them on the road and respectful of their needs.”

The City Council’s cycling strategy is to make Christchurch the country’s most cycle friendly city and this campaign fits with that goal. “It’s our job to help make that happen by getting more people cycling and decreasing cycle accidents,” says Mr Ferigo.

For more information contact the Christchurch City Council cycling and pedestrian transport planner Michael Ferigo on 941 8925.

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