Media Release from Cycle Action Auckland
18 November 2010
Cyclists around the country are devastated to hear of another avoidable cyclist fatality; the latest yesterday on Tamaki Drive in Auckland. Police report that a young 27 year old woman died after falling beneath an on-coming truck, after trying to avoid a parked car’s opening door.
‘The family and friends of the young woman will be in the hearts and minds of the cycling community today’, says Barb Cuthbert, Spokesperson, Cycle Action Auckland.
‘This is every cyclist’s nightmare. It highlights that we are highly vulnerable to the thoughtless actions of others. We do our best to anticipate opening doors which suddenly block our travel lane, but in congested conditions, like those on peak hour traffic on Tamaki Drive, we can face such hazards, leaving us with nowhere to go. ‘
‘Anyone who regularly cycles on busy arterials will have experienced being ‘ doored’ , where the door of a parked car is thrown open without any warning, blocking your travel lane. It was one of the ‘hot topics’ we discussed on last year’s Tamaki Drive Forum, (formed last year after a motorist drove into a group of cyclists). We asked the Council to remove as many parked cars as possible, as they add to the hazards of the road, and are a luxury when the travel space is so much in demand for walking, cycling and motoring. Council did its best by adding some new cycle lanes, but it did not feel confident to remove parking in this location to provide a continuous cycle lane. The sad reality is that a well designed cycle lane would have avoided this latest fatality’
‘I am so relieved that the Chief Coroner is acting to review cycle fatalities as a group, as there are patterns to the crashes, and a desperate need to invest time and money on remedies. Driver education and liability law changes, allocated road space providing better separation for cyclists and parking restrictions are obvious measures that we have in our life saving toolkit’ concludes Ms Cuthbert.
Barb Cuthbert, Spokesperson, Cycle Action Auckland
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org Ph – 0274 125 824; 372 6265, 445 2223