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Bike Event Organisers Fail To Respond To Appeal

Bike Event Organisers Don't Respond To Police Appeal

New Zealand Police Central News Release
7:56am 10 December 2008

An appeal for organisers of a pushbike pub crawl in Hawera to identify themselves and take responsible steps to make this year's event safer appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

"We are of course disappointed that the organisers have not taken us up on the chance to work together," said Sergeant Robyn Burnett, "but it doesn't change our own resolve to ensure the day runs smoothly and safely.

"As we have said before, this is not about the police being killjoys. We acknowledge that the event has become quite iconic for Hawera and it's great that people want to travel far and wide to enjoy our town. All we want to do is make sure that those who do come here stay safe and go home at the end of the day having had a really fun, incident-free experience."

One of the biggest risks to those taking part comes from not wearing appropriate bike helmets, a risk that is increased if the rider is impaired by alcohol.

At this year's event later this month, local bike shop O2 Project, will be setting up a stall selling at a discounted price approved safety helmets for anyone who has forgotten their helmet or intends to ride without one. Riders without a helmet face an on-the-spot fine of $55.

"The cost of a helmet is a small price to pay for safety. The alternative hits the pocket a lot harder and puts the rider at risk of serious injury; it shouldn't be a difficult choice to make," said Sgt Burnett.

The move by police to try and increase the event's safety has also brought a positive and pleasing response from members of the community. Details are still being finalised but there have been various offers of assistance including the provision of pilot vehicles.


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