More and more people are getting on their bikes around Auckland, whether it’s to commute to work, exercise or out with the family. People on bicycles are more vulnerable on the road as they are less protected than other road users. Because of this it is important to watch out and look for people on bikes on the road and give them the room they need, especially when making a turn or passing.
A bike is a vehicle, just like a car, bus or truck, so people on bikes and motorists have equal rights and an equal responsibility to share the road safely.
Below are some safety tips for motorists about driving around cyclists:
- Take care when passing people on bikes. Slow down and, ideally, leave at least 1.5 metres of space between you and the person on a bike.
- Take special care and slow down when passing. They may need to move unexpectedly and not have an opportunity to signal their intentions.
- Check rear-view mirrors and look over your shoulder before you open a car door. Passengers should check behind for cyclists too, especially when parking alongside a shared path.
- Take another look at intersections. Bikes are smaller than other vehicles and may not be easily seen.
- Avoid overtaking a cyclist just before you turn left at an intersection. Slow down and turn behind the cyclist.
- Indicate clearly and in plenty of time when turning and stopping.
- Know your blind spots, especially when driving vans, trucks or buses, and check again for people on bikes.
- When entering or exiting a driveway, look both ways and give way to people walking or cycling, especially when alongside a two-way cycleway.
- You cannot drive, park or stop in a cycleway.
- Slow down and be alert when visibility is reduced. People on bikes are often hard to see, and are even more so in the rain or in low-light conditions.