Tips for safe cy­cling this sum­mer

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

This sum­mer is shap­ing up to be a long, hot one and the New Zealand Trans­port Agency (NZTA) is urg­ing Ki­wis to get on their bikes, en­joy the great weather and dis­cover the many ben­e­fits of cy­cling.

To en­cour­age more Ki­wis to give cy­cling a go to raise aware­ness of safe cy­cling, the NZTA’s 11th an­nual Bike Wise pro­gramme in­cludes a sched­ule of cy­cling ac­tiv­i­ties that will take place around coun­try start­ing this month and cul­mi­nat­ing in Bike Wise Month, Fe­bru­ary 2013.

While peo­ple get out and start en­joy­ing the best sea­son for cy­cling, it’s im­por­tant cy­clists and mo­torists en­sure they share the roads safely this sum­mer.

‘‘ Cy­cling is a great sum­mer ac­tiv­ity but keep­ing safe on the roads should be a key con­sid­er­a­tion,’’ says NZTA man­ager net­work user be­hav­iour, Jen­nie Gian­otti.

‘‘Thou­sands of Ki­wis al­ready en­joy cy­cling and as the weather warms up, we’d love to see more peo­ple get out there. This year’s Bike Wise pro­gramme features plenty of fun events around the coun­try we en­cour­age peo­ple to head along to.’’

As hol­i­day­mak­ers hit the roads, here are some key tips to shar­ing the road safely:

Be pre­dictable: make eye con­tact with other road users to en­sure they are aware of you and sig­nal your in­ten­tions clearly.

Be con­fi­dent: ride in a straight line, at least a me­tre from parked cars and take the mid­dle of the lane when you have to.

Be pa­tient: slow down near parked or lined-up ve­hi­cles. Pass slowly and only when safe.

Be con­sid­er­ate: try not to hold up the flow of traf­fic. If nec­es­sary, pull over to al­low ve­hi­cles to pass.

Be aware: watch for cy­clists, es­pe­cially in low light or rain, be­fore open­ing car doors and at in­ter­sec­tions. They may be trav­el­ling faster than you ex­pect.

Be pa­tient: slow down near cy­clists and if need be, wait be­hind them. Pass slowly and only when it is safe. Ide­ally, leave a space of about 1.5 me­tres.

Be con­sid­er­ate: cy­clists some­times need to use the traf­fic lane for their safety. Give them time and space to move in and out of the lane.

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