Road users are being urged to ''tune in'' while
driving, cycling, walking or skating in a bid to prevent
devastating crashes and to make communities safer as part of
Road Safety Week, which starts on Monday. Samantha McPherson
talks to one of our roads' hidden victims.
Neill Glover is urging motorists and cyclists to be wary of
each other when they are out on the road after he was hit
by a car and knocked off his bike. Photo by Samantha
Neill Glover cannot ride a bike any more.
If he tries, he cannot ride in a straight line.
A so-called ''low impact'' cycling accident meant losing a
pastime he loved - but then, he could just as easily have
lost his life.
Mr Glover was hit by a reversing car in a sports club car
park last year. It was a while ago, but the physical and
emotional scars remain.
''I was travelling at 18.7kmh when I was hit by that car,''
he said with a trembling voice.
''It wasn't overly fast but if [I] was a child the damage
could have been so much worse.
'' My helmet had cracked and if I wasn't wearing one I don't
think I would be here.''
Mr Glover is one of the many hidden victims of cycle
accidents in Dunedin. His story is not the sort of tale that
would ordinarily hit the headlines - but his story of
so-called ''minor'' injury is all too common in the city.
He was one of 23 cyclists to suffer minor injuries in Dunedin
last year. Another 12 suffered serious injuries.
Mr Glover was cycling on a track at the Chisholm Park Golf
Club last February 2. He was preparing for a fundraising ride
across Death Valley in the United States - a challenge to
raise funds for child cancer.
The driver failed to see him as she reversed her car from her
parking space. He suffered a severe concussion and a broken
leg - a leg the once-active Mr Glover said was still numb.
These days, as well as not being able to ride his bike, Mr
Glover finds it difficult to concentrate, his balance is out,
and repetitive, flashing or fluorescent lights give him
Mr Glover said there were a lot of ''unseen consequences and
costs'' associated with crashes that people did not think
about. People needed to ''tune in'' to cycle safety.
''You are operating a piece of machinery that has the
potential to kill and seriously injure, even when travelling
at slow speeds. I would hate to see other people go through
what I have had to endure.
''The consequences will last for the rest of my life. It
could have been prevented,'' he said.
Southern District acting road policing manager Senior
Sergeant Steve Larking said ''tougher driver licensing, law
changes, education, improved vehicle safety and roading'' had
all played a part in a reduction in road crashes.