News release from Cycling Action Network, 10 March 2020

New road rules make sense and will reduce risk, say cycling advocates


Today the Government released its Accessible Streets package of traffic rules for public consultation.

This is a sensible package of rule changes, which will help to reduce risk on our streets and footpaths,” says Patrick Morgan, from Cycling Action Network.

We've been campaigning for a safe passing law for years.”

“Unsafe overtaking is scary and dangerous. It has to stop. A safe passing law will clarify what safe passing looks like, so all drivers know what is expected. It will provide the Police a new tool to enforce safe driving.”

We already have rules on minimum following distances, so a safe passing rule makes sense.”

A safe passing rule was recommended by the NZ Cycle Safety Panel in 2014.

Patrick Morgan says the review of footpath use is long overdue.

Permitting low-speed cycling on footpaths brings the law into line with common practice. It's not realistic to expect young children to cycle on busy streets. The old law is unworkable, and prevents education on safe footpath use.”

Under the current law it is illegal for kids to cycle on the footpath, with two exceptions (tiny wheels and delivering newspapers or junk mail). This is a problem because:

  • it discourages kids from cycling, as roads are too busy and dangerous for their level of skill and development

  • to keep kids safe, parents must encourage their kids to break the law

  • Bike Ready instructors can't teach safe footpath use.

This doesn't make sense. It needs to change,” says Patrick Morgan.

Permitting scooters to use bike lanes is another sensible move, he says.

“E-scooters are popular and here to stay. I welcome this review of rules, which brings traffic laws into line with common sense.”

The public has until 22 April to have their say.

Patrick Morgan
Project Manager
CAN – Cycling Action Network
Tel 027-563-4733, twitter: @patrickmorgan @CyclingActionNZ
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