letter to DomPost, Cycling facts and myths

Road safety is no accident, nor is it a joke.

Allow me to debunk myths about people who ride bikes, (R Fowles, DomPost letters 20 Nov)

Let's look at the facts.

It's not ok to break the rules, whether you are on a bike or driving. Ministry of Justice figures show just one percent of traffic offences are committed by people on bikes.

The Cycling Advocates Network's 'Stop at Red' and 'Cruise the Waterfront' campaigns promote responsible cycling.

Riding two abreast is legal, although cyclists need to show courtesy to other road users by not impeding the flow of traffic.

People who ride bikes certainly pay their share for roads. Roads are funded by rates and taxes. Cyclists that own or rent property pay rates, and pay income tax and GST. Most adults who cycle are also car owners and so pay as a motorist.

Most road funding goes towards fixing wear-and-tear that motor vehicles cause to roads. The contribution of bicycles to this damage is negligible.

Cyclists also contribute to ACC, both via ACC levies as employees and through general taxation.

More than 1.3 million New Zealanders ride bikes, among them your workmates, neighbours and family. We all win when more people cycle.

Let's move past cyclist-bashing and work constructively on improving road safety.

Patrick Morgan
Cycling Advocates Network


Great letter Pat, may 'steal' some points for The Nelson Mail - we've had a woman cyclist verses 4wd hit and run this week at around 5.30pm on an urban street. It wasn't the cyclist who hit and ran.

yes, good letter, Patrick  I wrote a letter on similar lines  a year or two back . Some local 'roadies' had been bunch riding inconsiderately, prompting a bit of cyclist bashing in a letter to the  editor in our local community newspaper. I wrote a reply that tried to take a more balanced view, pointing out that both the behavior of the cyclists and the expectations of the letter writer went beyond the law.

This was printed in today's DomPost.
On the next page is an excellent piece from Alastair Woodward et al.