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Hey, we’re all on the same road

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13 February 2008

 

Hey, we’re all on the same road

 

A new campaign is highlighting the importance of motorists and cyclists sharing the road, as more people riding bikes on the road is a key to achieving long-term improvements to Auckland’s transport problems.

Organised by RoadSafe Auckland, the ‘Hey, we’re all on the same road’ campaign aims to improve road safety as more and more people cycle to work, study and school.  RoadSafe Auckland spokesperson, Peter Kippenberger, Land Transport NZ, Partnership Manager, Northern Region says, “There are many environmental and health benefits to increasing the numbers of people cycling and both motorists and cyclists can help improve cycle safety.”

Each year in Auckland there are approximately 200 reported casualties involving cyclists and between 1 and 3 cyclists are killed on Auckland roads.

RoadSafe Auckland wants to reduce the number of cyclists injured despite the increased numbers of people cycling on the roads.  “Cyclists are legitimate road users entitled to mix with other traffic.  While an extensive regional cycle network is planned and there has been a significant recent investment in cycle facilities, the campaign is focusing on motorist and cyclist behaviour as it is not feasible to build an entirely separate cycle network”, says Mr Kippenberger.

Annual monitoring of cycle numbers in Auckland City since 2001 has shown a steady increase in the number of cyclists during peak traffic times.  “Over the last two years

the number of cycle trips at monitored sites in Auckland City during the morning peak has increased by 6% and 7% respectively between 2005 and 2006, and between 2006 and 2007, representing over 1,600 cycle trips in the 12 monitored locations”, says Karen Hay, Auckland City Road Safety Manager.

The campaign is being welcomed by the AA and Cycle Action Auckland as the campaign balances safety messages aimed at both motorists and people who cycle.

Simon Lambourne, Auckland transport spokesperson for the AA says, “Drivers need to be alert for cyclists, especially at intersections. We all need to make a special effort to look out for cyclists - give them at least one and a half metres when overtaking, and if it's not safe to pass then wait.”

”Motorists and cyclists both have rights and responsibilities on the roads. They both have a right to safe and enjoyable travel, and both have a responsibility to understand and respond positively to each other's needs,” says Mr Lambourne.

Bevan Woodward, Chair, Cycle Action Auckland says, “It is encouraging to see more Aucklanders on their bikes as it’s a great way to get around.  But we must improve on the safety of Auckland’s roads for cycling so we hope that this campaign helps raise awareness of all road users to share the road and take care.”

The campaign builds on previous RoadSafe Auckland campaigns and is being promoted using motorway off-ramp billboards, bus back billboards and promotional activity through schools and large businesses.

“The campaign messages will be promoted across schools and workplaces in the region and new cyclists are encouraged to have a safe bike and helmet, gain cycling skills and to plan their cycle routes carefully”, says Mr Kippenberger.

The campaign is being launched ahead of the annual Bike Wise Week which commences on Saturday 23 February 2008 and will involve many cycle events across the region and country.  Visit www.bikewise.co.nz for more information.

ENDS

 

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