New safety technology on Hutt Road will help keep cyclists and pedestrians safe

Cycling Advocates Network project manager Patrick Morgan congratulated Fulton Hogan for setting a high standard for safety.
ROSS GIBLIN/FAIRFAX NZ

Cycling Advocates Network project manager Patrick Morgan congratulated Fulton Hogan for setting a high standard for safety.

Installation of LED lights and signals to warn drivers of approaching cyclists could help save lives.

Construction company Fulton Hogan has installed radar technology and LED indicators on a two-way cycle lane on Hutt Road to warn drivers of approaching cyclists when they crossed a shared pathway into the Caltex petrol station.

Hutt Road was one of the most popular cycling routes in Wellington, with more than 400 people using the road at peak times. The high traffic volume and speed that cars travelled created a high risk zone for cyclists.

An artist’s impression of the Wellington Hutt Road shared path improvements.
SUPPLIED

An artist’s impression of the Wellington Hutt Road shared path improvements.

It was hoped the Bikescout technology, from Dutch company Heijmans, would help prevent injuries and deaths caused by cars not seeing cyclists and pedestrians when crossing the pathway.

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Fulton Hogan also retrofitted one of its trucks with a 360 degree camera and side rails to help prevent cyclists going under a vehicle if they crashed.

ON THE ROAD: Are our cities cycle-friendly?

ON THE ROAD: Are our cities cycle-friendly?

Cycling Action Network manager Patrick Morgan said the features were compulsory for trucks in other countries and he wanted the same for New Zealand.

In London, trucks had to have specific mirrors to give drivers a better view of cyclists and pedestrians around them. They also had to install side guards to protect cyclists being dragged under the wheels during a crash.

"We can't rely on businesses voluntarily making safety improvements. We say the Government must move faster to avoid more people dying under trucks," Morgan said.

"This is not just people on bikes, safer trucks would also reduce risk to pedestrians and people in cars."

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Wellington City Council public transport leader Sarah Free said: "The warning lights are just one of the things that have been trialled and could be an option at some of our busier vehicle entranceways."

"We are testing a range of measures including the lights to see how they affect driver behaviour.

"We'll be looking at the results of the trial when they come through, and liaising with property owners before finalising driveway designs."

Work to improve the shared path began last month near Aotea Quay overbridge and would take about seven months.

The upgrade included resealing the path, making vehicle crossing points safer, relocating and altering the layout of some bus stops and widening the bridge over the Kaiwharawhara Stream.

 - Stuff

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