Rotorua's professional drivers and active cyclists have learned a lot more about how the other half drives in a special workshop aimed at creating safer roads for all.

The Cycling Advocates Network (CAN) organised yesterday's road users' workshop as a practical way to understand how each of the road users use the road.

Participants rode around the city on bikes and took part in a variety of exercises to learn more about travelling distances, blind spots and driver behaviour.

The workshop was open to Rotorua's freight, bus and coach companies and cycling organisations.

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"It was a fantastic group, lots of desire to keep the conversation going, which is brilliant," said Julian Hulls, from CAN.

"The exercises we did are a really good way to let the group come to their own realisation of the distances we should follow at. I think there was lots of surprise at how big the blind spots are with trucks. If in doubt, if you are a cyclist and you want to pass a truck the only safe way to do it is on the right."

The group cycled from the Rotorua Lakes Council building through the Government Gardens to Sulphur Point and then along to the area beside the Polynesian Spa. Rotorua Forestry Haulage brought a laden logging truck for the exercise.

"It was a great opportunity to meet the different groups," said Jonathan Stewart, a driver trainer and assessor at Rotorua Forest Haulage. "We'd be keen for more opportunities to be involved with this kind of work."

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