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Slow Down for Safety Says New Zealand Post

7 April 2008

Slow Down for Safety Says New Zealand Post

New Zealand Post is rolling out a new range of high visibility safety gear to help keep cycling Posties safe.

The yellow fluorescent helmets, vests and panniers are brighter than before and designed to increase Postie visibility.

Cars backing out of driveways are potentially the most dangerous hazard facing cycling Posties on their daily rounds, says Post’s General Manager Delivery Stuart Kane.

He says speed and visibility are critical factors.

“You get people taking off out of their driveways at 20km an hour. That’s dangerous for all the people using the footpath, not just Posties.

“If drivers back out slowly it’s a lot easier for our Posties to take action and also for the car to stop.

“If you’re driving remember if you can’t see them, they can’t see you. If there are bushes obstructing visibility cut them back, and if you’ve got a high fence make sure you can see if the way is clear. Maybe drivers can even toot when coming out of the driveway.”

In the last 12 months 75 incidents involving vehicles and Posties took place nationally. Forty three of the incidents involved Posties getting hit by vehicles leaving driveways.Ten Posties required time away from work.

Posties, and those delivering newspapers or leaflets, are the only people given dispensation to cycle on the footpath under the Land Transport Act, and even then some walk.

“Even when the injuries don’t appear to be serious on the surface, it can be very distressing to be knocked off your bike and get cuts, scrapes and bruises when you’re carrying out your job,” Mr Kane says.

“So please slow down and watch out for your Postie.”

ENDS


BACKGROUND

• A mail stack the height of Aoraki Mt Cook is processed every day.

• New Zealand Post has 2300 Posties delivering mail throughout the country. About 80 percent of these Posties use bicycles to deliver the mail.

• It has been mandatory for Posties to wear safety gear since 2006. NZ Post is currently rolling out a new range of yellow fluorescent vests throughout the country.

• The new equipment is being provided to all cycling Posties to reduce the number of injuries caused by cars on roads, private roads and driveways.

• Posties on cycles are a particular focus because they are more at risk of sustaining injuries than walking Posties because they are required to:

- ensure their cycle is balanced and stable while delivering up to 23 kgs of mail
- take their eyes off the road/footpath while handling a cycle to deliver mail
- pay attention to pedestrian and car traffic while delivering mail.

• The major sources of injury for Posties are dogs, letterboxes and vehicles.

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