Safer roads under scrutiny


Potential changes to laws aimed at protecting walkers and cyclists from vehicle traffic will be discussed at this week's national walking and cycling conference in Hawke's Bay.

Professor Hank Weiss, of the University of Otago Injury Prevention Research Unit, will present options for "Vulnerable Road User" laws at the 2Walk&Cycle; Conference.

Possible options included greater penalties for injuries and deaths involving a pedestrian or cyclist as well as the introduction of "stricter liability" rules where motorists were initially presumed at fault for insurance purposes, or specific behaviour rules, such as giving way to pedestrians crossing side-roads and a 1.5m-space rule when passing cyclists.

The role New Zealand's ACC no-fault compensation scheme plays in influencing road user behaviour would also be considered.

Conference convenor Glen Koorey said the discussion was timely given the current coroner's inquest into cycling deaths.

About 200 delegates have been attending the conference, which is being held at the Hawke's Bay Opera House.

The conference ends tomorrow.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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