Bikers and drivers - pull yourselves together

Last updated 08:30 02/02/2012

Cyclists and their relationships with motorists are very much in the news this week. CyclistsAs with motorists, I always find pedallers are better behaved when the police are on hand to see them.

Even when they're available, cycle lanes are often ignored and while cars cannot stray from their allotted lanes, cyclists do so with impunity, often with disastrous results.

A two-metre rule for drivers clearing cyclists is sensible and it would be better if the same could be applied to pedallers passing parked or slow-moving cars.

New laws that might help:

  • Car drivers and cycle riders should ALWAYS indicate.
  • Car drivers and cycle riders should ALWAYS keep two metres apart.
  • Car drivers and cycle riders should ALWAYS, when they're available, use the lanes allocated to them.
  • Car drivers and cycle riders should ALWAYS correctly use the safety equipment they're legally required to.
  • Car drivers and cycle riders should NEVER use cellphones or earbuds from entertainment systems while on the road. This goes for pedestrians too.
  • Car drivers and cycle riders should NEVER go straight ahead through a left-hand-turning-only lane.
  • Car drivers and cycle riders should ALWAYS acknowledge that most of them engage in driving AND cycling, and should try to behave in a non-aggressive manner while engaged in either activity.
  • Car drivers and cycle riders should NEVER travel two or several abreast in public roads.

The bonding, rather than factionalising, of cyclists and motorists in terms of enforcement policy would help remove the obvious antagonism that occurs.

Follow Dave Moore on Twitter - @mooretothepoint

156 comments
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mike   #1   08:47 am Feb 02 2012

and expand this for motor-cyclists and scooter riders too.

I'm increasingly worried about scooter riders puddling along in the road verges/gutters and then swerving wildly on their tiny wee tyres back into the main traffic lanes to avoid obstructions/holes/refuse/drains etc..... in 50k zones they should ride in the middle of the lane, as entitled to, as motor-cyclists do.

the whole interaction between two/four/ and multi-wheeled vehicles ( log and sheep trucks etc) on NZ roads needs addressed before more people are killed or seriously injured.

Keith   #2   08:48 am Feb 02 2012

Two metres betweeen cyclists and cars might be desirable but the present recommended metre and a half is impractical in many situations. Particularly when a cyclist is some distance from the kerb a passing motorist is forced onto the wrong side of the road.

Woody   #3   08:49 am Feb 02 2012

Agree that cyclists and motorists need to use a bit more courtesy and tolerance on the roads but making new laws is ineffective if there is no enforcement. Currently enforcement of the rules regarding cycliing is in my opinion pathetic, but that is not the enforcement agency's fault, they are under resourced to do the job.

P   #4   08:49 am Feb 02 2012

Most of these "new laws" you state are actually already current legal requirements for both cycling and driving, e.g. indicating, and using the provided lanes.

1 in 7 billion   #5   08:54 am Feb 02 2012

Cripes Mate! have you ever even driven a car or ridden a bicycle on a average NZ road?

Where the hell is 2 meters of room to put between car & cyclist?

Andy   #6   08:58 am Feb 02 2012

The government needs to introduce bike licenses, and put registrations on them with huge ACC levies. That will help get all the idiots on bikes off the road, because they wont want to pay a $800 a year registration like motorcyclists do.

Jez   #7   09:00 am Feb 02 2012

Can I just add that ALL road users should stop thinking they own the road and realise that being in a hurry does NOT give you more right to be on the road than anyone else. There is a severe lack of patience and consideration on New Zealand roads.

Rick   #8   09:02 am Feb 02 2012

being a truck driver I am very well aware of cyclists, especially on the open road where the back draft of a heavy vehicle can affect cyclists. One problem I have is where in a 100 km zone, you have cyclists who are touring the country who aren't keeping to the left, often travel 2 wide and don't have any idea that they are a potential hazard on the road. One I passed yesterday was studiously cycling down the left hand white line on SH1, oncoming traffic, and oblivious to vehicles having to slow down to overtake them.

Nigel   #9   09:02 am Feb 02 2012

In my opinion it is not possible to legislate "bonding" and co-operation. Dave, I hope you ride a bicycle!

Sock   #10   09:06 am Feb 02 2012

Im sure this will turn into the usual mess with this topic, however maybe you could help me better understand cycle lanes. Are cycle lanes treated legally in the same way as lane markings for cars? ie

From personal experience cars seem to ignore cycle lanes much more than cyclists. A good example is when the nice car driver decides that they shouldnt slow down or stop behind a right turning car in their lane, seemingly the cycle lane is fair game here irrespective of the possibility of a cyclist being there or not. Another interesting point you make is that cyclists should not go straight from a left turn lane, I completely agree with this however it is more common than not that the straight through cycle lane is completely blocked by impatient left turning traffic, there is a slightly entertaining outcome to this though, when it happens I get off an walk to the lights, press the pedestrian button and walk across on the green man.... while the left turning traffic has to wait


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