Unfortunately, Auckland traffic can often be described as “fast and furious”. Too many motorists are unwilling to share our roads with care, resulting in an intimidating environment for cyclists.
Learning from overseas practice, Cycle Action is campaigning for these key actions to rectify the situation.
- Motor vehicle regulation to improve the standard of driving:
- Hands-free use of mobile phones only (includes the banning of texting)
- Compulsory third party insurance for all motor vehicles
- Mandatory professional training of a minimum 15 hours as part of attaining a driver’s license
- Raising the driving age to 18 years
- Restrict the modification of vehicles to prevent loud exhausts and tinted windows
- Traffic laws that assume motorists to be responsible for a crash with a cyclist and strict enforcement of cyclists’ rights by police and courts
- Reduce the speeding tolerance from 10 km/h to 5 km/h over the posted speed limit
- Car parking reduction and Road Pricing: London ’s congestion charge) reduces traffic volumes, improving safety for cycling.
- Taxation of car ownership and use: High taxes on car purchase, annual registration and petrol. High hourly parking rates in downtowns. The extra revenue is raised should be directed into providing enhanced public transport, walking and cycling.
- Land-use planning policies should encourage higher density, mixed use neighbourhoods centred on good public transport with excellent walking and cycling connections.
- Vehicle limitations in urban areas: Turn restrictions and artificial dead ends are created for cars but not for cyclists. Implement widespread traffic calming and car-free pedestrian zones.
- Prioritisation! Enlightened cities around the world are prioritising pedestrians, cyclists and public transport over the single occupancy motor vehicles, in order to encourage commuters out of their cars.
Cycle Action has outlined what is required to improve cycling in Auckland with: “Safe and pleasant cycling with the three P’s” – it is a concise 6 pages with illustrated examples, concluding with the roles and responsibilities of the various transport agencies.