An alleged hit and run which saw a bunch of cyclists shunted, and some lucky to be left with just scratches, is one example of the risks the district's pedal-pushing road users face.

But a local AA spokesman says there shouldn't be problems between cyclists and motorists as long as there is a mutual courtesy.

Bay of Plenty-Coromandel Automobile Association board chairman, Terry Molloy, said in his opinion as long as cyclists were on the hard left side, and motorists gave them plenty of room, "there shouldn't be any problem".

"Tension is going to happen when one person's going 20km/h and the other 50km/h or 100km/h.

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"There is a lack of courtesy and patience from some drivers, but there is also sometimes provoking behaviour from cyclists."

AA Bay of Plenty chairman Terry Molloy. Photo / File
AA Bay of Plenty chairman Terry Molloy. Photo / File

Road Transport Association Bay of Plenty spokesman Dave Cox said cyclists were a good thing.

"Unfortunately our roads haven't been designed with cyclists in mind, 60, 70 or 80 years ago.

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"For example around Rotoiti and Rotoma, or behind Ngongotahā, it's beautiful, why wouldn't you want to ride there, but cyclists are taking their life into their own hands because there's not enough room."

Cycle lane in New Zealand. Photo / File
Cycle lane in New Zealand. Photo / File

A Ministry of Transport report published in 2017 about the social cost of road crashes and injuries nationwide estimated the average social cost was $4,916,000 per fatal crash, $923,000 per serious injury crash and $104,000 per minor injury crash.

The report considered loss of life, loss of life quality, loss of output due to temporary incapacitation, medical costs, legal costs and vehicle damage costs.

The ministry's statistics show about 6 per cent of all crashes that led to injuries on New Zealand roads in the last 20 years involved cyclists.

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The crash scene of an alleged hit and run, January 17, 2019. Photo / Sam Shaw
The crash scene of an alleged hit and run, January 17, 2019. Photo / Sam Shaw

Between 2012 and 2016, the Ministry of Transport found cyclists were not at fault in 70 per cent of crashes involving bikes on our roads.

Eleven per cent of the time, cyclists had "some responsibility" and they had "primary responsibility" in 19 per cent of instances.

Ambulance staff attend to an injured cyclist on Te Ngae Rd in 2017. Photo / File
Ambulance staff attend to an injured cyclist on Te Ngae Rd in 2017. Photo / File

The Cycle Action Network's upper North Island spokesperson, Michael Cosgrove, said he felt reassured when waiting at intersections or traffic lights if a truck driver gave him a thumbs-up.

"I know that he has seen me and understands what my movement on the road will be.

"I'm not saying the people on bikes are absolved responsibility about using the road in a safe and courteous manner, it's just that the consequences of getting it wrong are much higher than for people in cars."

A cyclist hit by a car at the intersection of Pukuatua St and Amohau St in 2013. Photo / File
A cyclist hit by a car at the intersection of Pukuatua St and Amohau St in 2013. Photo / File

Bay of Plenty deaths and serious injuries from crashes involving cyclists

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- 11 in regionally in Bay of Plenty in 2017, including two in Rotorua district

- Nine regionally in 2016, including six in Rotorua

- 10 regionally in 2012, including four in Rotorua

- 15 regionally in 2007, including six in Rotorua

- Seven regionally in 2002, including three in Rotorua

- Seven regionally in 1997, including two in Rotorua

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- 12 regionally in 1992, including five in Rotorua

Source: Ministry of Transport