This precedent has nasty implications for Wellington’s narrow and hilly areas. The legislation clearly allows for cyclists to take the lane if it’s unsafe to move left, but there’s an implication from the police here that if a cyclist needs to stop in order to pull over safely, that’s better than impeding traffic. This is clearly discrimination of transport modes.
Following the conviction of Alex Mann for ‘impeding traffic’ for 400m while biking up Dyers Pass Road, there was an interview on Radio New Zealand featuring Alex and senior sergeant Scott Richardson (Radio NZ interview link). Rather than admitting they were wrong to fine Alex when many tractors, caravans, boats and trucks impede traffic thousands of times a day for far longer distances and times than Alex did, or suggest cars should obey overtaking rules, he proceeded to suggest cyclists should pull over and get off the road whenever a car approaches.
I personally find this quite a disturbing attitude. Our own Police force think that cyclists do not have a legitimate place on the road. I suggest some changing of these attitudes would be a helpful start to easing the needless conflicts that occur. Another thing I would like to see is a reduction in the speed limit…
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