Cyclist promotes safety bylaw

A new campaign to make cyclists more visible could lead to the Waitaki District Council being asked for what may be a New Zealand-first bylaw, making it compulsory.

Competitive cyclist, triathlete and Oamaru resident Adair Craik has launched the campaign promoting the use of reflective clothing, flashing lights and other aids for cyclists to be more visible to other road users.

It has been prompted by a recent spate of deaths of cyclists on roads.

Mrs Craik said yesterday the "Be Flash, Be Seen" promotion was, at this stage, on her own initiative, but she would meet community safety officer Helen Algar and Sport Waitaki co-ordinator Louise Bee to help put a campaign in place, particularly through schools.

She was also exploring a council bylaw that, like cycle helmets a few years ago and compulsory wearing of seat belts even further back, would ensure all cyclists used flashing lights (during the day and night) and fluorescent clothing.

She hoped the "Be Flash, Be Seen" campaign would lead to general acceptance of a bylaw.

"A bylaw won't prevent every death, but like seat belts and cycle helmets will lead to a big reduction," she said.

Any bylaw would have to be practical and enforceable.

In conjunction with that, Mrs Craik is exploring the possibility of sponsorships or grants which would subsidise safety equipment, as well as investigating what was available.

Mrs Craik wanted adult cyclists to lead by example, encouraging teenagers and children to follow.

"Keen cyclists should take the lead and show children, teenagers and adults that we want and need to be seen and that drivers need to share the road," she said.

The most common answer when a cyclist was killed was: "I didn't see them".

"It may seem not cool to a teenager or an adult to be lit up like a Christmas tree, but don't you want to be here next Christmas too?" Mrs Craik asked.

 

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