Riccarton cyclists at risk of 'dooring'

Last updated 07:41 08/02/2013
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Riccarton Rd in Christchurch is one of three spots nationally where cyclists are at high risk of being hurt or killed by motorists carelessly opening their car doors, a new study has found.

The Green Party is calling for the Government to invest more in safer cycleways after the study, by the Dunedin School of Medicine, into the risks cyclists face from "dooring".

In 1998, former Christchurch City councillor Chrissie Williams spent three months in hospital, including three weeks in intensive care, after she was knocked off her bike and under a car when former Cabinet minister Philip Burdon opened his car door in front of her.

She was cycling along Tuam St in the central city when the accident occurred.

Green Party transport spokeswoman Julie Anne Genter said people opening car doors on cyclists was a safety threat, and smarter road design was the best way to reduce the hidden risk.

"A relatively small investment in safer cycling infrastructure is often all that's required to ensure the safety of cycling through these accident black spots," she said.

"The Government should prioritise smart green transport options like cycling because they are low-cost, low- carbon and great for health."

The other two streets where cyclists are at high risk of "dooring" are Tamaki Dr in Auckland and Victoria St in Hamilton.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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