An innovative 3-D cycle safety DVD launched yesterday in Dunedin is designed to raise awareness amongst both motorists and cyclists of the hazards that are present when they share the road.
It follows the journey of cyclists in a busy urban setting, building a picture of the hazards they encounter negotiating motor vehicle traffic. It also switches to the viewpoint of motorists, as they share the road with a cyclist.
"The launch of this DVD is very timely as we have had a number of tragic fatalities amongst the cycling community recently. These deaths have such a wide-reaching effect touching both offenders, as well as victims and their families and friends. Everything that we can do to make all road users aware of the hazards for cyclists is of value," said Superintendent Paula Rose, National Manager - Road Policing.
The five-minute DVD highlights hazards that include motorists travelling too close, carrying out overtaking manoeuvres, pulling out or opening vehicle doors without being aware of what's around them, and focusing on other motor vehicles not cyclists. It also presents facts about cyclists' injuries, the speeds they travel at, and the need for cyclists to obey traffic signals, as do motorists.
Commonwealth Gold Medal Cyclist, Alison Shanks, launched the 3-D DVD, which has been produced for NZ Police by Dunedin company, Taylormade Media Ltd.
Funding came from the NZ Police National Community Road Safety Initiatives, which supports initiatives aimed at improving road safety in communities.
Idea originator, Dunedin Sergeant Jan Craig, says that the DVD aims to help to reduce the number of crashes between motor vehicles and cyclists, and reduce injuries and fatalities.
"Cycle crashes can be very unforgiving. If we can help cyclists and motor vehicle drivers to see their actions from a different and very real perspective then they may see themselves as equal users of the roads," she says.
Ten cyclists have been killed on New Zealand roads so far this year. At least another 124 have been seriously injured and 632 have suffered minor injuries in crashes involving cyclists.
In Southern, 15 cyclists have been seriously injured and 29 received minor injuries this year.
In the year to 30 June 2010, national ACC claims for cycle crashes which involved a motor vehicle or occurred on a public road cost over $12 million. This figure is funded out of ACC's motor vehicle account.
It's planned that the DVD will be widely distributed nationally and available to driver training and cyclist organisations, and other road safety organisations, and be shown in public spaces such as shopping malls and retail outlets, and in workplaces.