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.