Saturday, 17 October 2009

Cycling on

The antipathy towards cyclists from some people is quite amazing. In the paper this week, we had a letter from a woman who opened her car door in front of a cyclist, who swore at her - now she feels that she has every right to open doors in front of cyclists because they are so rude. She'd be rude too, if someone suddenly threatened her life.

Another writer wants to know why cyclists don't pay ACC levies. I can answer that - it's because cyclists are put in hospital by motorists, so the motorists should be paying the levies. If cyclists could cripple motorists, maybe cyclists should pay, but while the laws of physics are against them it's fair that those doing the damage should pay the cost.

I agree with the cycling lobby group Spokes, which says that city traffic speeds should be lower, and that more cyclists on the roads would create a more cycle-friendly city in general. I would also like to force motorists to cycle through the city for a day - impossible, I know, but I bet their views would change as a result. A cyclist-driver role swap in the UK also convinced cyclists that truck drivers really cannot see them in some traffic situations, so a swap could work both ways. Mind you, most NZ cyclists are motorists too, so they already know the driver's viewpoint.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, have being a cyclist most of my life. I witness dangerous cycle behaviour in the Port Hills almost daily. If we want motorists to be considerate and respectful to us, then we as cyclist must be respectful and conciderate to motorists. It is simply not true to say that cyclists do not cause accidents. Cyclist do not pay road specific ACC, nor are the roads payed for by cyclists (no fuel tax). A little honesty about mutual short comings would be good.