The Cycling Advocates' Network (CAN) is surprised by the approach taken by
the Automobile Association over child cyclists.
"The AA has chosen to go down the road of removing the children rather than
removing the danger," said CAN spokesperson Robert Ibell. "There are many
approaches that could be taken, such as having 30km/hr speed limits in
residential areas and around schools. And making safe cycling training a
core part of the school curriculum would ensure that children knew how to
control their bikes and how to behave in traffic. There are good training
programmes around, such as KiwiCycling and the Police Youth Education
Service courses, but they need to be more widely available."
"What is most surprising is that the AA has not chosen to educate its own
members about how to drive safely around young cyclists. Putting them on
the footpath doesn't solve any problems, and may actually make things
worse. How many drivers expect to encounter a cyclist when they are backing
out of their driveway?"
Safe Routes To Schools programmes are used overseas to make it possible for
children to get to school safely by walking or biking, and a few programmes
are operating in NZ. There are also five sites in Christchurch where
30km/hr speed signs are being trialled around schools.
In 1997 the Land Transport Safety Authority began consultation on a speed
limit setting rule, which would have allowed local authorities to set
30km/hr or 40km/hr speed limits, but it has since disappeared from public
view. Child cyclist and pedestrian deaths and injuries could be greatly
reduced by reducing urban vehicle speeds. CAN wants to see the speed limit
setting rule revisited.
For further information contact: Robert Ibell, Campaigns Secretary, Cycling
Advocates Network of NZ Inc, 04-385 2557
Campaigns & PR Secretary
Cycling Advocates Network of NZ Inc
PO Box 6491, Auckland
Tel/Fax: +64-4-385 2557
Jane Dawson & Robert Ibell
103A Tasman St
Tel/Fax 64-4-385 2557