New safety laws for cyclists

  • 02/09/2015
Cyclist (iStock)
Cyclist (iStock)

The government is investigating new measures to protect cyclists including a mandatory minimum passing distance.

Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss says many of the Cycling Safety Panel's recommendations have been introduced and now it's time for "more complex" issues to be looked at.

The panel released its recommendations last December.

It was set up following a coroner's report on a spate of cycle deaths.

Mr Foss has asked his ministry and the NZ Transport Agency to investigate a mandatory minimum passing distance and side under-run protection for trucks.

Under-run protection involves fitting guards to trucks so cyclists can't slide underneath them.

Between 2003 and 2012, 33 per cent of urban cycle deaths involved trucks.

The panel didn't recommend a specific minimum passing distance, but noted that Queensland was running a pilot programme set at one metre.

Several American states have minimum passing distances of three or four feet, about the same as a metre.

Passing distances can differ depending on speed limits.

Mr Foss expects the investigation to be completed by mid to late 2016.

Safety measures which have been introduced include segregated cycle lanes and off-road cycle paths in popular cycling areas.