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Share the Road
5 Feb, 2010
Please don't judge too quickly, taken with a wide angle lens, "objects may be closer than they appear!"
 
Check out the video of some drivers ideas of road sharing around Waitakere City (Eco City).
 
To give you an idea of scale, at the start of the video the distance from the yellow line in the middle of the road to the white boundary line is 2.9 meters, taking into account the width of the lane, the width of my bicycle 0.7 meters and the Mitsubishi Canter (the White truck) about 2.0 meters you now have the same appreciation of the clearance and information as the Police were given.
 
The last piece of road shown is only 5.22 meters wide boundary to boundary and is on the blind brow of a hill with a 100kph speed limit, despite this the drivers seem happy driving in the middle of the road, perhaps with a backup plan for if a car comes the other way, maybe that backup plan included the bit of road I was on as it did for the Silver Prelude who pull the unregistered unwarranted car across just in front of me.
 
I point out that this is a shortened compilation of the videos that have been supplied to the Police (Henderson, Waitakere, NZ) the copies they were given were much higher quality (1080p) which means number plates are readable, along with accurate lane measurements and exact locations, also to the minute times and dates so they could easily verify the driver and the clearance given and take any action they saw fit. Their (Henderson Police Traffic department) view is that a driver can give as little clearance as they see fit, and as long as a cyclist is not hit then there is no case to answer (they may take a somewhat different view to other acts of endangerment). Unfortunately as most New Zealanders (and recently the Family of one poor German Cycle Tourist) know, all too often the centimetres some drivers meant to "generously" give are misjudged or used by the cyclist to avoid something in the road, or the cyclist may be blown those few centimetres of line by an inconsistent cross wind. Many New Zealanders are too frightened to take to the road without a steel cocoon and air bags around them and are through that fear denied cheap transport.
 
If you have read this far and feel, as I do, the New Zealand Police stance is inappropriate I urge you to forward this video to as many friends as you can to raise awareness. If you have the conviction, ask your local MP to push for a change in the law, the cell phone ban was brought in quickly, and I like to think a law to protect cyclists could be brought in even faster.
 
If you know an overseas cycle tourist please forward this email to them, as the standard of driving in New Zealand is not something that is advertised, and they are most likely unaware of that is waiting for them in New Zealand.
 
Camera used: Contour HD 1080p http://www.vholdr.com/ if you're a cyclist in New Zealand you could record your last moments on Earth with one of these, or post videos of your near death experience.
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