On your bike, Mr Hague – there are some things the government (even a great one) can not prevent

Cyclists go down ... and not a car in sight.

Alf could see it coming – the Green Party is calling on the Government to do something to keep cyclists safe.

This overlooks the obvious reality that cyclists could keep themselves safe by selling their bikes and buying cars.

Then, of course, they must learn to keep their cars on the correct side of the road or be somewhere else when some lunatic drives over on to the wrong side of the road.

But Alf is bewildered about what the Government is supposed to do to keep all motorists on the right side of the road at all times to avoid unfortunate and tragic accidents like the one at the weekend which resulted in cyclists being killed.

The Greens, of course, aren’t stopping to think too much about the actual cause of the weekend accidents. They have seized on the death toll to call for action.

MP Kevin Hague has blogged:

The death of three more cyclists on the roads this weekend in tragic circumstances highlights the need for concerted action on cycle safety.

Two of the three cyclists died in one accident when a car crossed to the wrong side of the road around a corner into the path of a bunch of cyclists just outside of Morrinsville.

My sympathies are with those families and friends now dealing with the loss of loved ones. Mark Andrew Ferguson and Wilhelm Muller were out training for the Lake Taupo race later this month — a race I’m also training for along with thousands of others out on our roads.

Hague refers to the work of an outfit called the Cycle Aware Network (CAN), which has been calling for urgent cycle safety action.

It has listed nine priority areas for Government to get to work on.

These include:

* Run a national Share the Road promotional campaign telling motorists and cyclists how to co-exist safely on the roads;

* Change transport planning and funding processes to make sure key problem areas or gaps for cyclists (eg Auckland Harbour Bridge, Petone to Wellington cycleway) get fixed. There must be no more delays or buck-passing between various organisations;

* Spend less on road building and more on encouraging alternatives to driving. More motor vehicles on our roads only make things less safe and attractive for cycling;

* Promote the use of lower speed zones, particularly 30km/h in residential and shopping streets;

* Change the tolerance for motor vehicle speed limit enforcement from 10km/h to a maximum of ten per cent of the posted speed limit;

* Increase the cycling budget in the National Land Transport Programme by a factor of five;

* Change funding and audit processes to make sure that all roading projects improve the environment for cycling;

* Change the driver licensing system and driver instruction so motorists are educated about how to take care around cyclists;

* Fund and promote nationwide roll-out of cycle skills training for children and adults.

Hague tells us:

Here in Parliament, I’ve set up a cross-party parliamentary group to fast-track some of the issues. We’re focusing on lower urban speeds, a nationwide “share the road campaign,” and cycle skills training. I believe we’re making progress.

Watch this space.

Alf indeed will watch this space.

He will have to, because he has not been invited to join the group, and if he had been invited to join he would have told them to pedal off.

But he is bloody curious.

Which item on the list of demands by the cyclists would have ensured the safety of the cyclists killed when a car walloped into them on the wrong side of the road?

Our Green MP is obviously vague as well as Hague.

2 Responses to On your bike, Mr Hague – there are some things the government (even a great one) can not prevent

  1. Oswald Bastable says:

    Make the buggers pay RUC’s!

  2. nasska says:

    AND amend the legislation so that they can only travel in single file – just like the rest of us road users.

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