Thursday, July 2, 2009

drivers taking up cyclists' space

Nelson Mail
Last updated 13:07 28/10/2008

More needs to be done to educate motorists to keep Nelson cyclists safe on roads, Bicycle Nelson Bays spokeswoman Anne FitzSimon says.

Mrs FitzSimon says there should be a national campaign on bike safety because Nelson City Council campaigns are not enough.

She believed a third of motorists were drifting into bicycle lanes and advanced stop boxes - the green area cyclists wait in at traffic lights - which was a safety problem.

Motorists know not to drift into other lanes, so the same care should be taken not to drift into bike lanes or advanced stop boxes, she said.

Mrs FitzSimon wants to see police target motorists to educate them on keeping cyclists safe.

"They need to realise we are human beings."

She cites parts of Waimea Rd and all the curves on Rocks Rd as the main problem areas where vehicles cut into cycle lanes.

"Every time they drive in them, unless they are parking, it's illegal. We are just coming from an education and safety point of view."

She said there are three E's to overcome the problem; engineering roads to be safe for cyclists, educating motorists on cycle safety, and enforcing cycle safety laws by the police.

Nelson City Council transport coordinator Margaret Parfitt agreed there was a need for a nation-wide campaign.

The council had held numerous cycle safety campaigns in Nelson, using billboards and pamphlets, which she encouraged people to put on the windows of cars parked in cycle lanes, but its budget limited it from doing more, she said.

The council plans to introduce more of the advanced stop boxes, including on Collingwood St, which is currently being upgraded.