Cyclists' deaths during Road Safety Week spark calls for safety awareness

Two cyclists have died on our roads in as many days, and sadly its happened in Road Safety Week.

Campaigners say until the right infrastructure and technologies come along, it's up to everyone to watch out for blind spots.

Two cyclists, two trucks, two deaths, two days. On Friday night, a cyclist was killed at a busy intersection in the Christchurch suburb of Hornby.

And while the debris is now clear following a fatal crash near Auckland's port on Thursday, the flowers are a sign of a community in shock.

"It's just an awful thing for everybody involved in these tragedies," says Share the Road campaign manager Richard Barter.

This isn't the first time a cyclist has died on that stretch of road - in 2014 a man was killed in a similar collision.

It's a vital truck route - cyclists often risk breaking the law on the pavement over risking their life on the road.

"I don't think the majority of cyclists would choose to ride on a road like this," Barter says.

Crashes between trucks and cyclists can often be attributed to blind spots.

While many newer trucks contain technology like blind spot sensors and under-run guards, road safety charity Brake says everybody can do their bit.

"It is about both cyclists and truck drivers being aware of what those blind spots are, and that there could be somebody unexpected within that blind spot," says Brake director Caroline Perry.

Barter runs blind spot awareness workshops for both cyclists and truck drivers.

He says putting a cyclist in a truck - or a truckie on a bike - helps everyone understand how to be seen.

"Good infrastructure is coming, safe vehicles are coming, but in the meantime, we need to understand each other's needs on the road," Barter says.

This week is Road Safety Week - but Brake says it's a year-round concern.

"It's heartbreaking for us. Every time there is a death on the road, no matter when it is throughout the year, because we know those families and everyone involved in that will be suffering," Perry says.

Police are reminding all road users to look out for each other.

Because sharing the road should mean everybody gets home safe.