Cy­cle ac­ci­dents

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Edi­tor,

In the last week there have been sev­eral in­ci­dents re­ported by the me­dia re­gard­ing cy­clists in se­ri­ous ac­ci­dents. It seems mo­torists are al­ready re­ceiv­ing blame in some cases.

This morn­ing, while tak­ing a con­sti­tu­tional along Hi­nou St to­wards the Tawa rail over­bridge, we spot­ted about six cy­clists head­ing to­wards Lin­den. They were rid­ing three to four abreast in a tight group, about 30-40kmh.

A car came to­wards us and them from be­hind. An­other ve­hi­cle was com­ing the op­po­site way. We thought ‘‘oh no, are we about to wit­ness a col­li­sion?’’, but the car head­ing to­wards Lin­den slowed and stayed be­hind the cy­clists who con­tin­ued to hog the road.

Surely it is il­le­gal for cy­clists to travel in such a dan­ger­ous man­ner, putting all at risk? I would have thought trav­el­ling sin­gle file much more sen­si­ble in such a sit­u­a­tion. - BAR­BARA LESLIE,

Tawa. open for sub­mis­sions to a se­lect com­mit­tee hear­ing.

‘‘The bill triv­i­alises the work of the Law Com­mis­sion’s two-year re­view by not in­clud­ing the proven sub­stan­tial mea­sures which would re­duce harm from drink­ing,’’ says Pro­fes­sor Jen­nie Con­nor, Head of the Depart­ment of Pre­ven­tive and So­cial Medicine of the Uni­ver­sity of Otago, Dunedin. ‘‘The main driv­ers of dam­age from al­co­hol, which are price, avail­abil­ity, pro­mo­tion and drink-driv­ing, are not be­ing ad­e­quately ad­dressed.’’

The mem­bers of our con­gre­ga­tion whole­heart­edly sup­port the call for ad­di­tional pro­vi­sions made by Pro­fes­sor Doug Sell­man, di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Ad­dic­tion Cen­tre, Uni­ver­sity of Otago, Christchurch. He calls for leg­is­la­tion that puts an end to:

Ul­tra-cheap al­co­hol, be­gin­ning with a min­i­mum price for a stan­dard drink.

Highly nor­malised and ac­ces­si­ble al­co­hol, by restor­ing su­per­mar­kets to be­ing al­co­hol­free.

All al­co­hol ad­ver­tis­ing and spon­sor­ship, ex­cept ob­jec­tive printed prod­uct in­for­ma­tion.

Le­gal drunk-driv­ing, by re­duc­ing the adult blood al­co­hol level to at least 0.05.

We are very aware as par­ents and grand­par­ents, as mem­bers of lo­cal Mana com­mu­ni­ties, and as shop­pers at dairies and su­per­mar­kets, of the ma­jor in­creases in avail­abil­ity of al­co­hol and in its pro­mo­tion close to our homes.

Of par­tic­u­lar con­cern is the pro­mo­tion of cheap alco-pops seem­ingly aimed specif­i­cally at our grand­daugh­ters.

We are happy to ad­vise other com­mu­nity groups of our views by this let­ter, and of our in­ten­tion to ad­vise our lo­cal mem­bers of Par­lia­ment of our views.

We in­vite those other com­mu­nity groups and con­gre­ga­tions to take sim­i­lar steps to en­sure that the cur­rent op­por­tu­nity for re­form on the ba­sis of care­ful re­search is not squan­dered.

We will also look to strong lead­er­ship from our church lead­ers and our na­tional of­fice.

Pro­fes­sor Con­nor af­firmed, ‘‘The Law Com­mis­sion brought to­gether the best in­ter­na­tional sci­en­tific in­for­ma­tion about what would be ef­fec­tive mea­sures to re­duce our prob­lems, but the Govern­ment is not pre­pared to use them.’’

She pon­dered, ‘‘This means there are other con­sid­er­a­tions that are more im­por­tant than health, wel­fare, law and or­der. What are they?’’

Good ques­tion, and we will con­tinue to press for an an­swer – and for sub­stan­tial change to the draft leg­is­la­tion.

- KEN RAE, Sec­re­tary, Lead­ers Meet­ing, Mana Methodist Con­gre­ga­tion.

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