Services > Safe Cycling & Walking
Of medium concern across the cluster, local surveys show a lower than national average of cycle helmet compliance rates. There is a lack of driver understanding of road rules including how to correctly use established cycle lanes. Anecdotal evidence suggests an increase in popularity of cycling in region.
Here is the cycling page on the NZ Transport Agency Website - this is great for all the basics you need to know before you hit the road.
Your responsibilities as a cyclist are to:
- Keep left
- Use the correct lane
- ‘Taking the lane’ on left turns
- Pass other vehicles safely
- Use hand signals
- Be safe and courteous when cycling in groups
- Share the road and paths
- Expect hazards and ride to avoid them
How to fit a Helmet
NZTA Cycling Guidance Network
A comprehensive guide for planning networks & routes. It’s for all involved in cycling networks including planners, roading engineers, cycling advocates and all cyclsts interested in best practice & safe cycling planning.
Pedal Ready is a cycle skills programme provided to schools and adults in the Wellington region. Training involves a bike and helmet safety check, bike handling skills and exercises to build confidence on a bike in preparation for all their future riding – whether it is out with friends or family, on the BMX track, mountain biking, or riding on the road. Read more about Pedal Ready.
NZTA People on bikes
We all have a “copy cat”
By Holly Hullena – Road Safety Coordinator / School Travel Planner
The age-old saying: “make good choices” comes to mind. Road Safety is particularly important this time of year as schools have started up and we are all vying for our space travelling to get there. In amongst this hustle and bustle, we tend to forget some of the basics in safety and we need to be able to take a breath, think and do the right thing as often we have children around us ready to follow in our footsteps.
Common things to remember to show our children how to stay safe:
- Slow down! – if you are a rush, you may forget to double check for anyone crossing the road or a cyclist that is to your left. Children are often excited to see their friends. They may not be looking out for you.
- Wear your seatbelt – make it click EVERYTIME. Ensure before you start up the car that all children in the vehicle are restrained properly. Children under 7 years of age must be in an approved child restraint.
- Use the crossings – Make it a rule. Even if it is only a few metres in the opposite direction. Pedestrian crossings make sure you are seen and that vehicles stop for you.
- Park your car properly – Don’t park on yellow lines or bus stops. It means you are obscuring the view of someone else’s child trying to cross the road properly. It doesn’t hurt to park down the road and allow your children to walk an extra 50 metres to the school gate. It will also allow them to grow some independence and you can still see them.
- Use your “noggin” – Make sure you are wearing a helmet that fits you properly. Check your child is wearing theirs. If your child is under 10, cycle with them to school. Children do not develop their peripheral vision until they reach 10 years old. Their judgement to speed and perception is not great.
- School Buses – Park your car on the same side of the road as the bus. Make sure when you are driving past a school bus that your speed is 20km (it’s the law). Talk to your children about the Curb-side drill.
The world is a busy place, but there is no need to hurry when around the school gate. Nothing in this world is more precious than our children, so look out for them, look out for others and set a good example.
Wairarapa Police focusing on cycle safety
Bike helmets, and ensuring they’re worn, will be the target of Wairarapa Police in an upcoming operation focusing on cycle safety in the region.
Police, in conjunction with the Wairarapa Road Safety Council, will be putting extra focus on the issue between January 24 and February 3, in order to raise compliance rates of Wairarapa cyclists.
“A large number of Wairarapa cyclists fail to wear a cycle helmet while riding on our roads,” says Sergeant Ian Osland, Area Manager for Youth and Community Services.
“This happens across all age ranges, but of concern is the risk our younger community members are exposed to by not wearing a helmet.”
Data from safekids.nz(link is external) shows that cycling-related injuries are one of the top ten causes of unintentional injury-related deaths for children in New Zealand. More than 480 children are hospitalised for cycling related injuries every year, and up to five children die from cycle-related injuries every year. A helmet reduces your risk of a severe brain injury in a crash by up to 74 percent.
Most Wairarapa schools will be returning on Monday, January 30, for the 2017 school year, which will see an increase in cycling by children and youth across the area.
Wairarapa Police will be actively focused on enforcing the law through the period January 24 – February 3, and those not wearing approved cycle helmets correctly can expect to be spoken to by Police.
“Children, in particular, are incredibly influenced by the behaviour and habits of those around them,” Sergeant Osland says.
“Make bike helmets a no-brainer.”
The Wairarapa Road Safety Council is pleased to be working with local Police to ensure our most vulnerable young road users are aware of the need for compliance with helmet laws.
“Back to school time is the perfect opportunity to incentivise and reward safe and positive cycle behaviour,” says manager Bruce Pauling.
“Those flouting the law by not wearing helmets are not only setting bad examples to our young road users, but are exposing themselves to risk and injury, which can affect us all in some manner, either directly or by way of the massive social costs of injury or fatal crashes.”
As an added incentive, Police will also provide to those cyclists seen riding safely and with the approved safety equipment an entry form to go into the draw for a gift pack arranged by the Wairarapa Road Safety Council.
Thanks go to Avanti Plus and Happy Valley Cycles for their support.
Issued by the Police Media Centre
Media Note: Sergeant Ian Osland is available for interview – please contact the Media Centre to arrange.
More information on safer cycling can be found on the Wairarapa Road Safety Council website(link is external).