Superintendent Steve Fitzgerald – who served for five years as New Zealand’s top traffic officer – was killed in the Lower Hutt suburb while cycling home from work in Wellington to Eastbourne on June 19, 2008.
The truck driver who hit him, Desmond Wilson, was found guilty of careless driving causing death, ordered to pay $2000 reparations, and disqualified for nine months.
Now, Wellington Regional Coroner Ian Smith is calling for high-visibility clothing to be as compulsory as helmets for cyclists, enhanced cyclist education, a one-metre gap between motorist and cyclist be added to the road code, and clear rules about when a cyclist must use designated lanes only. …
‘Turning to the issue of hi-vis clothing it is in my view a no-brainer. It should be complulsory for cyclists to wear at all times when riding in public.”
First of all, if you are cycling at night you are a special sort of moron if you do not wear hi-vis gear.
But do we want a country where it is illegal to ever ride a bike if you don’t have hi-vis clothing?
Even on a country lane on a bright sunny day?
And don’t even think about how many Police hours would be spent on checking if a cyclist has their hi-vis clothing on.
I recall the report about how the lack of a helmet law in the Netherlands has led to vastly more people cycling there, and overall health gains.
Imagine how many people would be put off cycling with such a daft law?
The suggestions on the one meter gap and the rules about using designated lanes seem worthwhile though.