Motorists critical of cyclists' behaviour

Motorists and cyclists do not always see eye to eye when it comes to who should take precedence on the road but there are two sides to every story.

In response to a story in yesterday's Timaru Herald about cyclists being the target of motorists' road rage, a number of readers rang to tell us their point of view.

South Canterbury road safety co-ordinator Daniel Naude said it was only a small percentage of motorists and cyclists who caused conflict on the road.

Local government had worked hard to improve roads for better visibility, such as the S-bend on the corner of Le Cren and Church streets. A tactile raised line had been put in place which prevented road users cutting the corner in front of cyclists.

However, not all cyclists were innocent.

"If cyclists go through stop signs, it upsets motorists who then blame all cyclists," he said.

Linda and George Hughes thought it would be safer if cyclists rode on the right-hand side, facing traffic, like walkers do on country roads.

Mr Naude discounted the idea as flawed because cyclists have to follow the same road rules as motorists, which would lead to confusion at intersections.

Motorist Gary Stewart does not like the way that all road users along Wai-iti Rd are pushed towards the middle because of the parking and cycle lanes.

"I don't understand why cyclists don't follow the keep left rule when there are no cars parked on the inside lane."

He predicted that if two wide vehicles passed each other they would hit head-on and with no room to take evasive action, a cyclist was likely to get hurt as well. "It's an accident waiting to happen."

A resident of Rosebrook Rd, who did not want his name published, did not think cyclists cared much about their own safety as he had seen a group riding three abreast with one talking on a cellphone and no hands on the handlebars.

When he passed cyclists in his car, he always put his hazard lights on so they knew he had seen them. "But there is no indication they have seen me."

South Canterbury