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“Don’t burst cyclists’ bubble”

“Don’t burst cyclists’ bubble”

Greater Wellington Regional Council is urging motorists to give cyclists space on the roads.

A region-wide cycle safety campaign kicks off on Monday 9th February as a lead-in to Bike Week the following week.

Greater Wellington is supporting the fortnight-long campaign, along with Bike Week, as part of its promotion of safe, environmentally-friendly transport options.

Regional Land Transport Committee chairperson, Terry McDavitt, says encouraging cycling is a vital part of Greater Wellington’s efforts to reduce the impact transport has on the environment. And that includes the need to make it safer.

“Cycling is not only good for the environment, it’s good for individual’s health. But we recognise that for many people to choose it as a transport option, it must be seen to be safe.”

According to the Land Transport Safety Authority, the main causes of crashes between cycles and vehicles are one of them being in the wrong lane or position, failing to check the road is clear before manoeuvring, and failing to give way.

While cyclists contribute to these accidents, drivers are predominantly at fault.

“Cyclists are among the most vulnerable road users,” Mr McDavitt says.

“They share the roads with vehicles that are bigger, harder and faster than them. If there is an accident between a bicycle and a vehicle, there’s a two to one chance that it was the driver’s fault.”

During Bike Week, there are more than 25 events organised to promote cycling and cycle safety. Many of the people helping to run these events are keen cyclists, and they know how important it is for cyclists to keep safe on the roads. That requires drivers to be more aware of cyclists and for cyclists to improve their skills and to ride safely.

“If you talk to a group of cyclists, you inevitably find several who have had close shaves on the road or who have been knocked off their bikes by vehicles,” Cr McDavitt says.

“That’s why we’re promoting the ‘Don’t burst their bubble’ theme, to encourage drivers to give cyclists more space.

“In heavy traffic or on narrow inner-city streets it can be tempting to try to go very close to get past someone on a bike. But simple things like not squeezing past cyclists or cutting corners can make the roads much safer for people on bicycles.”

The ‘Don’t burst their bubble’ campaign runs throughout the Wellington region between February 9 and 22, and is support by Greater Wellington, LTSA and the region’s city and district councils.

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