Road risk much greater

LETTER

Re: Young Cyclists ‘flat tack’ on city footpaths, Aug 3 story.

I wish to share some food for thought in regard to cycling on footpaths (I am not talking about the ones riding at speed or being inconsiderate!)

It is worth looking at this in view of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, which focuses on occupational H&S with a risk-based approach, and on how to minimise risk/the exposure to risk. The Act obviously reflects our society’s desire to reduce risks that lead to injury and death.

Applying a risk matrix for cyclists riding on a footpath, rather than on a road that has no safe cycleway and with heavy logging trucks going both directions (eg Awapuni Road), is a no-brainer.

We are talking about the risk of a pedestrian being run over by a cyclist and maybe getting a blood nose, or a cyclist squashed by a truck.

It seems a bit bizarre that people, in particular children, can be punished and fined for the attempt to reduce a severe risk to their own health and safety — an approach that is highly commended when practised in a working environment. For example, no employer would dare to expose their employees to a risk this high if there is a much lower risk alternative.

So please, dear policeman and policewoman, don’t throw my children from the footpath on to Awapuni Road when they cycle home after school (as happened a couple of months ago).

Even if it is the law, I would hope every individual is allowed some personal risk assessment and appropriate action as a choice.

Marlis Haertel

Re: Young Cyclists ‘flat tack’ on city footpaths, Aug 3 story.

I wish to share some food for thought in regard to cycling on footpaths (I am not talking about the ones riding at speed or being inconsiderate!)

It is worth looking at this in view of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, which focuses on occupational H&S with a risk-based approach, and on how to minimise risk/the exposure to risk. The Act obviously reflects our society’s desire to reduce risks that lead to injury and death.

Applying a risk matrix for cyclists riding on a footpath, rather than on a road that has no safe cycleway and with heavy logging trucks going both directions (eg Awapuni Road), is a no-brainer.

We are talking about the risk of a pedestrian being run over by a cyclist and maybe getting a blood nose, or a cyclist squashed by a truck.

It seems a bit bizarre that people, in particular children, can be punished and fined for the attempt to reduce a severe risk to their own health and safety — an approach that is highly commended when practised in a working environment. For example, no employer would dare to expose their employees to a risk this high if there is a much lower risk alternative.

So please, dear policeman and policewoman, don’t throw my children from the footpath on to Awapuni Road when they cycle home after school (as happened a couple of months ago).

Even if it is the law, I would hope every individual is allowed some personal risk assessment and appropriate action as a choice.

Marlis Haertel

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