NZTA defends Auckland cyclists slammed for riding side by side

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has defended two cyclists slammed by an Auckland driver for riding side by side on the road. 

The footage was filmed by the driver while on his way home to Piha in west Auckland. He posted it to social media, calling out the cyclists for their "rude sense of entitlement".

Pieter Kruger told Stuff he has no problem with cyclists being on the road, but feels they were being inconsiderate of motorists by not allowing space for cars to pass them. 

In the video Mr Kruger can be heard telling the cyclists on West Coast Rd, "Come on guys, single file".

But the NZTA says the cyclists technically did nothing wrong.  

A spokesperson told Newshub he watched the video and saw no problem with what the cyclists were doing. 

He pointed to NZTA's rules for cyclists, which say two cyclists "can ride next to each other but should take into account the keep left rule and not hold back traffic".

"In general, it's good practice at all times to be aware that you are sharing the road with other users, to exercise courtesy and consideration and act in a safe, predictable manner," the spokesperson told Newshub.

NZTA's website advises cyclists to "always ride as near as you can to the left side of the road".

"If you are holding back traffic you must move as far as possible to the left side of the road to allow traffic to pass, as soon as you can," it adds. 

It is illegal, however, for three or more people to cycle next to each other, "except in the case of a road race that has been given traffic management approval from a road controlling authority".

Nevertheless, New Zealand roads are becoming more dangerous for cyclists. According to NZTA records, there has been an increase in the number of injuries involving cyclists on roads. 

There were 226 crashes involving cyclists in 2017 compared to just 53 in 2016. 


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