Police “Neglecting” Cyclists


Information obtained by the Green Party under the Official Information Act showed that the Police have not kept any records relating to cyclists or cycle safety under their Community Roadwatch reporting system.

That’s an on-line tool that allows the public to report incidences of dangerous driving.

The system has been operating since 1995.

Cyclist and Green MP Kevin Hague said: “The Police’s inability to record information relating specifically to cyclists and their safety amounts to nothing less than wilful negligence.”

“The Police say they care about road fatalities, some even take them very personally, but this kind of mismanagement shows a lack of care for some of the most vulnerable road users — cyclists.
Mr Hague became concerned about the effectiveness of the Community Roadwatch Report after a number of cyclists he knows reported lodging details of dangerous driver behaviour that weren’t followed up by Police.

“The Community Roadwatch Report considerably enhances the Police’s presence on our roads. If the Police are not adequately capturing what the public is reporting out there on the streets, how are they going to be able to police road safety effectively?

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

“The Community Roadwatch site presents a confusing story of the Police’s actual responsibility. If the Police receive a report about a serious offence, then they need to follow it up,” said Mr Hague.

“The site can also be improved by adding fields identifying modes of transport involved. Without them, the information submitted tells us nothing about what road users are being placed most at risk and in what situations.

“Such valuable information could, in time, change road policing priorities saving lives.

“Police also need to remember cyclists are more at risk on our roads than drivers when considering whether to prosecute. Driver behaviour that’s annoying to other drivers can be lethal to cyclists.

“I’m often asked if the Police are doing enough to protect cyclists on our roads. Unfortunately, we’ll never know until better records are kept.”




  1. Anthony says:

    I was in Auckland a couple of days ago to see rellies and since i haven’t been there in a very long time, it shocked me to realise how narrow some of the 4 lane roads are, it’s like the council doesn’t take into account of possible cyclists that might use the road.

    Christchurch, however seem to be c vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvrgggvvvcrweeeeee

  2. Anthony says:

    Sorry bowt that, my cat is demanding my attention, and since i was focused on my typing she got huffy and sat on my laptop…..>.<

    anyway, Christchurch, unlike Auckland appear to have wider roads, more cycling lanes and slightly more tolerance than Auckland. So i guess some of the fault is due to poor urban planning as well.

  3. karl says:

    Anthony - Christchurch has a much better (i.e. more complete) cycle route network.

    Christchurch also has (roughly) 5% cyling mode share, compared to 1-2% in Auckland. That plays a big role in how cyclists are perceived as “normal” on the roads or not. Auckland is getting better, but some motorists are still of the “get of MY road” persuasion.

    More cyclists overall also means less (percentage-wise, and general visibility of) sports cyclists, who are often (correctly or not) provoking the most ire of motorists.

    Finally, I agree with some of the Greens’ concerns regarding the Community Roadwatch project. Recently, I complained about a car driver cutting me off as a pedestrian. The stupid website asked me to fill in my CAR details.

    That said, the Australian website is even worse. They have all sorts of heavy-handed language talking about how you HAVE to report any incident that involved injury. So when I tried to report a cycle crash I had had over there, the form forced me to enter CAR details for BOTH parties. The incident involved a pedestrian and a cyclist. I eventually gave up.

  4. BD says:

    Christchurch is nice and flat compared to Auckland which is very hilly and steep, therefore Christchurch is much better for cyclists and the streets are built-in a grid like pattern, somewhere where Auckland has gone wrong.

    As I live in Auckland I would like to see things improve for Cyclist, like a cycleway/pedestrian crossing over the harbour bridge, and more streets in Auckland converted into shared spaces.

  5. Matt says:

    That explains why I never got a response to a report I filed a couple of years ago when a car clipped me.
    I was riding perfectly legally, keeping as far left as possible and with a bright yellow shirt on, and the car passed so close to me that the wing mirror clipped my handlebars and caused me to have to balance myself off his C pillar. Fortunately I was slowing for traffic lights or it could’ve been very nasty, but he definitely knew he’d done it because when I shouted he gave me a single-finger salute.

  6. richard says:

    I think these Community Watch reports are a waste of time. I have made a couple of reports and all that happens is the Police write to the other party pointing out they have had a report about their driving.

    If you actually want something done, i.e. if its serious you make a report to the local police station and must be prepared to appear in court as a witness. However, without an independent witness, unless police attend you can be “pushing it up hill”. In the case of injuries a report must be made and failure to do so is an offence.

    My wife received one of the letters from the police regarding a dobber in and the whole thing goes on what the dobber reports. From what my wife told me and knowing the intersection it was a situation regarding merging lanes and I would say both parties were equally at fault and the most responsible was the Council for marking the road in the confusing and dangerous way they have.

    My advice is if involved in any accident always call the Police whether walking, riding or driving. If the other driver objects say they have been called and if they scarper you have their details and they will be in more trouble.

    As far as Auckland road lanes are concerned I agree many are too narrow. Lane 1 by the kerb should be at least 3.5m and lane two 3m. Council try to squeeze as many cars into the road and four lane when ever they can then add a flush median as well. Lane 1 is often less than 3m because they measure from the kerb not the gutter edge. Many cycle lanes are much narrower than the required 1.5m often 1.1m because they seem to measure cycle lanes from the kerb to the outside of the white line rather than the near side. A cycle lane this narrow is actually more dangerous than no cycle lane because a cyclist rides a metre out from the kerb to avoid drains etc. and at a width of 80cm elbow to elbow the cyclist is actually overhanging the vehicle lane. When there are cycle lanes motorists understandably don’t pull out as much to pass a cyclist so almost scrape your elbow!

    Safe wide roads have been transformed into dangerous multiple lane pseudo motorways.

    If you can’t do it properly, don’t do it at all!!!!!

  7. Glen K says:

    BD, I’ve never quite bought the “it’s too hilly” argument; that doesn’t quite explain why a place like Switzerland has a higher rate of cycling. Or even the much touted Portland, Oregon (which has a 7% cycle commuter rate) - that’s quite a hilly place everywhere.

    Auckland’s hills are generally no worse than many cities; that’s why most bikes have gears to negotiate them. And the beauty of hills is that, having gone up them you can then cruise DOWN the other side - that’s something you can’t do in Christchurch. Believe me, I’m happy to pay for a little bit of effort up a slope to get a break from pedalling every now and then.

  8. Footplate says:

    too may cyclists willfully break the law. And, without, ID, can’t be apprehended. This is one change that needs to be made.

    Tamaki Drive is still a shocker of a combination of tourist, commuter, commercial and cyclist travel. The road wasn’t built for this volume and complexity. Isn’t it time that proposals for widening/rebuilding this highway were initiated?


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