Safer cyclists = law abiding cyclists

Feb 15, 2014
Safer cyclists = law abiding cyclists

BenL

A New York separated cycle lane
A New York separated cycle lane – Aucklanders, look but don’t touch

Following on from the (largely ill informed) furor over cyclist red light running following the tragic death of John Tangiia, there is this good news piece from New York.

Unsurprisingly, researchers have found that the increased cycle infrastructure has led to cyclists obeying the traffic laws more often.

There has been a significant improvement in bike safety,” says Tuckel. More riders are stopping, or at least pausing, at red lights; riding in bike lanes; and wearing helmets. Fewer riders are pedaling against traffic [Editors note: cycle helmets are not compulsory for adults in New York].

I also saw this article recently in the North Shore Times. It appears motorists are choosing to break the law where they feel it is safe because they think it is less safe to do what the law prescribes (i.e. only enter a T3 lane within 50 metres of an intersection). Those motorists see it as unfair if they are penalised for that infraction.

I see a lot of parallels here with red light running by cyclists. If a motorist was hurt while entering a T3 lane illegally that would be tragedy. The response from AT/NZTA should be to look at why that crash happened and try to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Not shrug their shoulders and say “well they shouldn’t have entered the T3 lane illegally”.

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