Cycling Advocates' Network (CAN) are petitioning the Ministers of Transport, Police and Road Safety to urgently implement proposed plans to make cycling safer. Its petition includes a 9-point plan for improving cycle safety.
The petition is prompted by the recent deaths in Wellington of Des Eyre and Steve Fitzgerald.
Spokesperson Stephen McKernon says, 'cyclists in the Wellington area have advocated for decades to improve the roads on which these cyclists died. Their deaths highlight the urgency of improving road safety for cyclists'.
McKernon says, 'the Government and many local authorities have cycling strategies and programmes, but actual changes are taking far too long to put in place. These require much greater resources and the will to act on existing commitments.
'If New Zealand is serious about making the most of all the benefits of cycling, then we need immediate action to make our roads safer and more attractive for people to cycle on.
CAN is calling for urgent action to promote the safety of cyclists and has launched a petition to give New Zealanders the chance to show their support in person. The petition can be found on http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/NZCycleSafety/ or at http://www.can.org.nz/. The petition includes a 9-point plan coveringcycling safety improvements through better planning, funding, roading project criteria, promotion, education and training, speed limits and driver licensing.
CAN is meeting with Government Ministers and officials to ask them to adopt the 9-point plan. CAN will also press for a coroner's review of the two recent cycle fatalities to look for systemic causes behind cycle crashes and to recommend remedies.
The Ministry of Transport's Household Travel Survey 2003 - 2006 shows there are about 1.3 million cyclists in New Zealand (about 30% of the population) making it one of the country's most popular sporting and leisure pursuits.