Posted by: Gregory | June 19, 2015

Police suggest cyclists get off the road

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.

Cycling in Christchurch

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.

cyclist get off your bike

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…

View original post 51 more words

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Responses

  1. Please sign my petition on the Wellington City Council website to oppose the petition (now closed) calling for a bylaw to require cyclists to use cycle lanes at all times. Stick up for the right of cyclists to use our roads! Please do it now- petition closes 26 June.

    • The original petition is in the agenda for next Thursday’s Transport & Urban Design Cttee meeting, with officers recommending its rejection – and quite right too.

      • Officers’ response
        1. Wellington currently has a relative weak cycling network, where facilities do exist for cyclists they are of mixed quality but generally considered poor. It is accepted that there is an intention on part of the Council to increase both quality and quantity of network provision.
        2. As new provisions are made, education, marketing and encouragement campaigns will be factored into scheme roll out to encourage uptake and the correct use of new lanes.
        3. Cycleway provision will not always be appropriate for all riders and some may chooses not to use facilities provided. For example, bunch rides of sports cyclists would choose not to use a shared path and probably wouldn’t use a narrow protected cycle lane.
        4. No legal advice has been sought if it is possible to create a bylaw requiring cyclists to use cycle lanes however officers believe that this may be ultra vires.
        5. While this is open to review in the future, it is not appropriate that Council gives further consideration to this proposal at this time.

        http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1974/0066/latest/DLM420453.html

  2. I’ll take a bite at this one.

    Firstly, I do not agree this sets a precident as broadly as stated in the original article (i.e. “Our own Police force think that cyclists do not have a legitimate place on the road”) any more than their various bans on heavy vehicles, high vehicles, long vehicles or caravans on specific road sections are due to any general police position that these modes also do not have “a legitimate place on the road”.

    This is more a matter of the police exercising their responsibility to ensure all roads are as safe as possible and recognising that the cycling mode has some alternative options compared to other road vehicles which is, in particular, cyclists can easily stop & exit the road (which includes being legally permitted to go onto a footpath) and also cycles can also be pushed uphill by the rider (unlike motorised vehicles).

    In specific circumstances (such as the Port Hill Road in question), the police obviously believe the cyclists “right” to remain on the road and impede following traffic for an extended period is likely to create an unsafe traffic situation and their solution is to require the cylist to provide right of way (including dismounting if necessary to do so) to following traffic on a narrow hill road. I can’t see anything wrong with this as long as it use used on a specifc situation basis.

    I will finish a question on an alternative scenario which is also likely to arise in the future which is when a two-way narrow hill road is made narrower by the addition of a cycleway on one side. Should the police be able to require cyclists to use the cycleway and not the road ?

    • *”their [police] various bans on heavy vehicles, high vehicles, long vehicles or caravans on specific road sections are due to any general police position that these modes also do not have “a legitimate place on the road”” – sorry, but the police impose no such bans. That’s over to the relevant road controlling authority, which in this case has made no decision to ban bikes. Your comparison has no validity.

      *”which includes [cycles] being legally permitted to go onto a footpath” – in general cycles are (very sensibly) not permitted to on the footpath, and shared paths are fortunately falling out of favour.

      *”an alternative scenario which is also likely to arise in the future which is when a two-way narrow hill road is made narrower by the addition of a cycleway on one side. Should the police be able to require cyclists to use the cycleway and not the road?” – the road controlling authority would have to take this into account when making a decision to add a cycleway, so it’s probably not that likely to arise, and police have no power to require cyclists to use a cycleway rather than the road.

      • On the 24th of June there is a Full Council Meeting @ committee room 1 in Wakefield Street where the Working Group reports back and traffic resolutions are considered for the Island Bay Cycle Lanes. See you there.


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