Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Road Safety Changes Not Enough, Say Cyclists

Wednesday 13 December

Road Safety Changes Not Enough, Say Cyclists

Cyclists have welcomed some aspects of the Government's Road Safety Policy Statement released today but called for stronger action to make New Zealand's roads safer.

Cycling Advocates' Network (CAN) chairperson Robert Ibell said "We're pleased to see a strong focus on education, including changes to driver training, and a continued emphasis on speed reduction. However, the Government has backed away from important safety measures like banning cellphone use while driving, lowering the blood alcohol limit, and reducing motor vehicle numbers."

"Cyclists are particularly vulnerable when drivers are distracted by their cellphones. Every cyclist has stories of 'near misses' with cars or trucks, and for some people those incidents are enough to put them off cycling." said Mr Ibell. "There is clear evidence that using a cellphone while driving is the equivalent of driving while drunk, and we want to see the practice banned."

"Reducing the number of motor vehicles on the road by making alternative ways to travel more attractive would have huge safety and environmental benefits but is ignored in the policy statement." said Ibell.

CAN sees benefits for all road users, including cyclists, in lowering the maximum blood alcohol limit. "Research in Australia found that lowering the blood alcohol limit not only had an impact on those driving between 50-80mg, but also reduced the number of drivers with higher blood alcohol concentrations." said Ibell.

CAN is calling on the Government to adopt additional road safety measures:
- speed limit enforcement tolerance reduced to a maximum of 5 per cent of the posted speed limit (currently a 10 km/h tolerance) throughout the road network, not just outside schools
- lower speed limits (e.g. 40 km/h) introduced much more widely, especially in urban areas
- cellphone use while driving banned
- blood alcohol limit reduced to 50mg
- minimum passing gap of 1.5 metres introduced for motorists overtaking cyclists
- cycle skills training in schools rolled out nationwide.

Recently released statistics from the 2006 census show a continuing decline in everyday cycling across the country, from 5.2 per cent of work trips by bike in 1986 to 1.9 per cent this year, a drop of over 60 per cent.

CAN believes everyday cycling is heading for extinction unless major changes are made to the way the transport system is designed and the way road users behave. "New Zealanders should be able to choose how they get around, but we know that many are put off cycling because they think our roads are too unsafe." said Mr Ibell.

CAN wants clear priority given to the safety of the most vulnerable road users in the planning and design of roading infrastructure. "Trade-offs have to be made between the needs of different road users." said Mr Ibell. "All too often these trade-offs benefit motorists at the expense of cyclists and other vulnerable road users. We would like New Zealand to follow the overseas practice of adopting a road user hierarchy, where those most at risk are given priority in the design of the roading system."

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On What We Could Do For Hong Kong, If Only We Dared

There has been something repulsive about PM Jacinda Ardern’s assurances that our joint 5 Eyes criticism of China’s actions over Hong Kong – and China’s harsh reaction – are all well understood on both sides. According to Ardern, it has been a case of us saying the sort of things we’ve said before, them acknowledging our need to do so, and then them responding much as we would expect them to do. All neat and tidy. Frankly, if all of this is merely virtue signalling on our part, and huffy declarations of independence on their part, then what’s the point of this diplomatic dance..? More>>

 

New Zealand Government: Speech From The Throne

It is my privilege to exercise the prerogative of Her Majesty the Queen and open the 53rd Parliament.
In the October election, New Zealanders elected a majority Government for the first time under our Mixed Member Proportional electoral system... More>>

Grant Robertson: Government To Review Housing Settings

New Zealand’s stronger-than-expected economic performance has flowed through to housing demand, so the Government will review housing settings to improve access to the market, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “Our focus More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Recommends New DNA Laws For Criminal Investigations

Te Aka Matua o te Ture | Law Commission today released a report that recommends a new, comprehensive regime to control how DNA is obtained, used and retained for criminal investigations. The report has revealed significant gaps in the operation ... More>>

ALSO:


Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: Announce Portfolio Reshuffle With Talented And Energised Caucus Team

“The Green Party caucus offers a breadth of talent and energy to the Parliament this term. In ten MPs you have a small business owner, a human rights lawyer, an academic, a climate negotiator, a transport planner, and so much more”, Green Party ... More>>

ALSO:

APEC: New Zealand Ready To Host Virtually

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took over the leadership of APEC earlier today, when she joined leaders from the 21 APEC economies virtually for the forum’s final 2020 meeting. “We look forward to hosting a fully virtual APEC 2021 next year. While ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels