Cyclists, motorists need mutual respect
WARWICK RASMUSSEN - DEPUTY EDITOR
OPINION: Cyclists versus motorists. It is one of the modern-day rivalries that seems to show no sign of abating. There are few people who sit in the middle of any argument over which is the greater offender when it comes to breaking the road rules.
In the Manawatu Standard recently we've shared the stories of a few people who have had close calls while riding their bikes.
It must be a scary experience knowing the collision is going to happen while you're in a vulnerable position, with the only thing between you and a hard landing your clothing and your helmet.
The two men who spoke to us in the past week had their collisions on city streets, at slower speeds, and despite their need for medical treatment, they bounced back.
Not everyone is so lucky.
The sheer number of cars and bikes on the roads mean that these incidents are always likely to happen. A portion of them are unavoidable, for whatever combination of reasons, but so many can be prevented with a little common sense, whether you consider yourself a cyclist or motorist first.
Whenever the Standard runs a story involving bikes and cars it certainly draws passionate responses.
Whether you're a cyclist or a car driver you're bound to have had a run-in with poor behaviour or actions from the "other side".
It's pretty obvious that the blame for accidents doesn't solely lie with cyclists or motorists.
While a car will always win in any kind of collision everyone needs to show more consideration and awareness.
Cyclists have to appreciate that vehicles can be hard to move and stop, so they need to ride accordingly. Riding in single file where possible and being visible are key to this.
Motorists, too, need to realise that cyclists are entitled to share the road with them. Drivers need to give riders space and reduce speed around them.
For the most part, both groups of people do share the roads in harmony. It's when the minority get involved that problems occur.
ONE MORE THING
Manawatu has once again proven it punches above its weight when it comes to the national sport. While the Whitelock brothers now ply their trade in Canterbury and Crusaders colours, they got their start in Manawatu. Along with their success, the region can now also toast the exciting prospect of the two Aarons, Smith and Cruden, playing side by side as halfback and first five for years to come. Having an All Black in the region, let alone two at the same time, is an exciting prospect. Congratulations to them both. Go well against the Irish this month.
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