Bike safety; get into gear
It is Be Safe Be Seen time again; the annual campaign to encourage safe cycling, walking and running as the nights draw in, with free safety stuff being given out at pop-ups across Hastings and Napier.
There will be eight street pop-ups over the next month, four in Hastings and four in Napier, where cycle lights, reflective bracelets and bag covers and spoke reflectors, will be given out to those without them. The team will also be visiting seven organisations with sizeable staff numbers to spread the message.
Those would include a visit to Hawke’s Bay Fallen Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital in Hastings and one at Napier Health. Both would be in public areas, so the safe cycling team could talk to staff and visitors.
Hawke’s Bay District Health Board (HBDHB) sustainability officer Lisa Malde said the Be Safe Be Seen campaign perfectly complemented its Go Well Travel Plan which encouraged staff, as well as visitors, to use alternative ways of getting to or from the hospital and Napier Health – including by bike, where possible.
“By hosting these safety sessions that can be attended by staff and visitors alike, we can help to spread the safety comes first message – we support active transport and the way to ensure your safety is to make sure you are seen.”
As part of its travel plan, the DHB had increased access to shower facilities and expanded the number of secure lock-up bike storage areas at the hospital. In the upcoming months it would also introduce a bike pool for staff to use for exercise or to attend meetings. It had also partnered with a bike retailer to run maintenance and tune-up courses.
The other organisations that the Be Safe Be Seen team would visit are: EIT, Mr Apple, Furnware; ABB, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Napier City Council and Hastings District Council.
“Getting to the numbers of staff in these businesses is a fantastic way to spread the message. We talk to them about the risks and what they can do to avoid them; and they pass those critical messages on to family and friends,” said Lyndal Johansson, Sport Hawke’s Bay Walking and Cycling Coordinator, who is leading the project for iWay.
Hastings Mayor and keen cyclist Sandra Hazlehurst said Hawke’s Bay was already regarded as one of the best places in the country to cycle, especially with the hugely successful iWay programme. “The safety and wellbeing of all of our community is paramount and we want to ensure everyone can get out and enjoy our wonderful cycling routes. I urge all you keen and budding cyclists to get involved in these Be Safe Be Seen programmes so we can focus on taking care on the roads and cycleways.”
Graeme Taylor, Napier City councillor, committed cyclist and chairman of the iWay Project Delivery Group (Napier), encouraged everyone to get involved in cycling safely. “If you’re walking or cycling, particularly at this time of year when the days are shorter, other road and pathway users need to be able to see you. We want people to cycle for exercise, for fun or to get to and from work and school, and staying safe should be an important part of your routine.”
The campaign is supported by Sport Hawke’s Bay, USO Bike Ride, Road Safe Hawke’s Bay, Napier Community Patrol and New Zealand Police.