Rebecca Quilliam

Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the NZME. News Service office in Wellington.

Businessman declares 'war' on cyclists

David Ware, managing director of publicly listed mobile radio company TeamTalk. Photo / Ross Setford
David Ware, managing director of publicly listed mobile radio company TeamTalk. Photo / Ross Setford

A Wellington businessman who has declared "open season" on cyclists has outraged cycling advocates who say his comments are frightening and dangerous.

David Ware, managing director of publicly listed mobile radio company TeamTalk, wrote an editorial in the latest company newsletter railing against cyclists.

He calls them "sodding road vermin", "roadkill", "weasels in Lycra", and said "it's time to declare open season".

"More than anything it's their unbridled arrogance that gets up my nose.

"Unlike the rest of us they don't pay road user charges or extra ACC premiums. But in spite of being guests on our roads they think they have some god given right to ride wherever they bloody-well please, whenever they please."

However, Mr Wade said he had just bought a bike and would let readers know how he went.

The editor of cyclingnz.com Tim Pawson said the article was "distressing and appalling".

He said it was frightening to see such anger in the editorial.

"I would think that if someone out there of a similar mindset to him took that on board and decided to be a smart alec when passing a cyclist by passing too close or speeding up when one is turning and the inevitable happens and someone gets killed, well, he should be made responsible for prompting the activity.

"He's actually calling on people to use their motor vehicles as weapons."

The editor of the Road Cycling NZ magazine Glenn Te Raki said the editorial was "almost a joke".

"Bike riders pay their road tax's in various forms, and it's people with this low mentality that scare us vulnerable bike riders."

He said Mr Ware was declaring "war" on cyclists.

Mr Ware was unavailable for comment today.

Last week Wellington Coroner Ian Smith made a number of recommendations for cyclist safety in his inquest into the death of top police officer Superintendent Stephen Fitzgerald.

Mr Fitzgerald was killed while he was biking to his Eastbourne home and a truck clipped him on the Petone overbridge.

Among his recommendations, Coroner Smith urged the Minister of Transport to make it compulsory for cyclists to wear high-visibility gear and for the road rules to change so cars would need to be a metre from bikes when passing them.

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf01 at 25 Oct 2014 20:02:32 Processing Time: 845ms