After two cyclists were killed today, the national organisation for everyday cyclists is calling for urgent improvements in roading design and motorist behaviour.

Cyclist fatalities show need for better infrastructure and motorist behaviour After two cyclists were killed today, the national organisation for everyday cyclists is calling for urgent improvements in roading design and motorist behaviour.

Cycling Advocates' Network (CAN) chairperson Robert Ibell said tonight that the deaths of two cyclists in the Wellington region show that central and local government are not moving fast enough to make roads safer for cycling.

A car door carelessly opened into the path of a 61 year old cyclist in Upper Hutt caused his death this morning when he was thrown into the path of a car.

And a cyclist riding northbound from Wellington was killed tonight on the Petone off-ramp. "Neither of these tragic deaths should have happened," says Mr Ibell. "In the case of the Petone crash, continuing procrastination by Transit and buck-passing by several other authorities in the Wellington region have meant that the Ngauranga to Petone cycle track is still incomplete."

"Local cyclists have been asking for at least 14 years for something to be done on this route ." "This is one of the region's busiest and most important cycling routes, yet cyclists have no choice but to share the road space with high speed motor vehicles." says Mr Ibell.

The death of the cyclist outside St Patrick's College in Upper Hutt shows the need for a publicity campaign. "Urgent changes to driver licensing and driver education are needed to make drivers more aware of how to take care around cyclists", says Mr Ibell.

"How many fatalities will it take before something is finally done? We need action on cyclist safety now."


Ministry of Transport statistics show that on average, about 730 cyclists have been injured and 10 killed per year in recent years. Only 40% of accidents are caused directly by cyclists. There are about 1.3 million cyclists in New Zealand. About 1 in 1,000 cyclists are involved in crashes compared to about 3 in 1,000 car drivers. Car crashes more often cause serious injuries and fatalities and are a leading cause of injury-related costs within the health sector.

For further information, contact Robert Ibell, CAN Chairperson, 04-972 2552, or Stephen McKernon, CAN Media & Marketing Co-ordinator, 021-450-021,

Release Date: 
Thursday, 19 June, 2008
June 19, 2008 Anonymous (not verified)


I see in this morning's Press that the Petone fatality is Superintendent Steve Fitzgerald. Over the years, CAN has had numerous meetings with him, in his role as NZ's top traffic cop at the time. Steve was a very committed professional and his loss will surely be felt.

I suggest we send our condolences to Steve's family.

Yes, we should send a message to Steve's family. I'll get hold of an address from Helen Harris or Glen Morrison.

Robert Ibell

Comments to media@can: 1:

"With the news of the cycling deaths of Superintendend Steve Fitzgerald and another elderly gentleman in Lower Hutt this week alone, I have been moved to take some time to look up some cycle advocacy groups this morning and came across your details.

I firstly want to say thanks for the work that you do, secondly want to encourage you to keep up your very important work, and thirdly offer my full support.

I am a daily cyclist around ChCh and although I find ChCh one of the safest cities I have ever cycled in, it is still the most dangerous undertaking I do each day. It is infact the most dangerous sport I have ever done. As a person who has worked in adventure sports for 10 years, that is not a light statement.

It completely frustrates me that councils spend millions on road construction to save minutes for car drivers, instead of saving lives for cyclists - the very people who are trying to do the right thing - but presently have to put their lives at risk to do so. Today is an outcome of such errors.

So once again thankyou for your work. I have been looking at many websites to see how I can be of more assistance, and Im very open to any suggestions you may have."

Comments to media@can: 2:

"Hi - as a concerned cyclist, am very keen to know what media action is being taken regarding the latest cycle deaths in lower hutt. Unbelievable taht a senior traffic officer responsible for NZ road safety is killed while biking. There is an opportunity for action here that needs to be taken to the highest level. Trust you guys are onto it!!"

Comment from media@can:

Robert and I have been taking calls from local and national radio stations, plus a few newspapers. I am also getting emails from cyclists (see below).

It distresses me that it takes others' personal tragedies to get this level of media attention. Very mixed feelings today.

Respect to people who ride.

Respect and sympathy to the families of those who died.

"Hi Robert, Just a quick note to say I heard you on Morning Report - excellent. And thanks to you and Stephen for getting the press release out so promptly and drawing attention to the key concerns..."

Cyclists pay respects
The Dominion Post | Friday, 27 June 2008

MINUTE'S SILENCE: Cyclists ride past the spot in Petone where Superintendent Steve Fitzgerald was killed.

More than 300 cyclists paid an emotional tribute to two of their own when they took part in a memorial bike ride that drove home the potential dangers of cycling.

Memorial Ride In Wellington Today
This from Vorb:

Saturday 21st June 08
Wellington cyclists are planning a memorial ride as a mark of respect for the two riders killed last week.

Cyclists are invited to gather at Parliament on Thursday 26 June at 3:45pm.

After a brief opportunity to speak, we will depart Parliament at 4pm, and ride along Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road to Petone Roundabout. We will pause there, then ride back to Wellington.

The ride will commemorate and honour the lives of the riders killed on 19 June.
Check the site - more than 200 comments posted, photos etc.