The peril of other drivers

Last updated 07:17 22/11/2012

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I am a motorcyclist. I ride for my daily commute, for errands and most of all for pleasure. I ride what would be deemed a small bike but maintain personal responsibility for safety - to myself, pedestrians and other motorists.

The subject of safety on a bike may bring you thoughts such as high-quality protective gear, visibility for others, driving safely and maintaining the vehicle to high safety standards. For me personally, however, other motorists would have to be my No 1 threat.

Roughly a month after the give-way rules changed, I was involved in a low-speed accident with a vehicle driven by an elderly person who cut me off. Instead of a direct impact into the vehicle, I opted to drop the bike and suffer the fall. Insurance deemed the vehicle uneconomical to repair and I required surgery on my wrist followed by eight weeks on ACC.

Was this cost to the taxpayer avoidable? Totally!

I (like many others) continue to be exposed to risk from drivers not paying attention to the road and continuing to use the old rules or in general driving badly because of feeling "rushed".

Though I would like to believe otherwise, it feels as though our roads (Christchurch's in particular) have become more of an every-man-for-himself-based scenario vs enforcing the rules provided to keep all motorists safe.

I understand the saying "Old habits die hard" but it appears NZTA and the Police have made little effort after the change of give-way rules to continue educating drivers and even less effort enforcing them.

Our roads are not a racetrack and life is far more precious than to allow people to drive at their own will for the sake of several seconds. I for one would like to be around in 40 years' time.

C'mon Ann Tolley - drag yourself out of the office for half an hour and observe what little appears to be done!

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