Christchurch Mail : April 10th 2014
12 CHRISTCHURCH MAIL, APRIL 10, 2014 NEWS Cyclist safety studied By GARY MOODY SLOWING TRAFFIC on Christchurch roads over a wider area than just the city centre could save cyclists’ lives, a University of Canterbury transport expert says. To help identify patterns in New Zealand crashes, Dr Glen Koorey has produced a report on common themes in cycling fatalities. From crash records and reports, more than 90 READYTO ROB: Rollergirls Bella Spitfire (Emma Derrick), Baddy (Kerryn Findlater) and Rockettdog (LauraGentle) gear up to open roller derby season with tomorrow night’s ‘Cops&Robbers’ exhibition bout atCowlesStadium. ‘Mad’ derby tomorrow Cop a night of lawless action By ARIELLE MONK CHRISTCHURCH IS invited to roll up to the first roller derby stoush of the year tomorrow, which promises to descend into madness, with a Cops and Robbers theme. Roller derby league Dead End Derby (DED) will split into two teams to put on the exhibition bout, but spokeswoman Emma Derrick (AKA Bella Spitfire) says it’ll be ‘‘no holds barred’’ when it comes to team-mates playing one another. The robbers team will aim to thieve points away from the coppers, who will at all costs arrest their opponent’s attempts. Derrick is expecting 600 to 1000 fans along at tomorrow night’s bout, and says it’s a chance for old faithfuls to get dressed up in theme. ‘‘If people have never heard of roller derby or want to see what it’s all about, this is their chance to pop their roller derby cherry,’’ she said. Touting themselves as the city’s original rollergirls, the DED league has a hard season ahead, as venues for practice and matches in the city have become a rarity. Despite that, the DED rollers aren’t being held back – and have grudges to settle in this year’s national championship, after finishing fifth on the table of 16 teams. The game is played on an oval track, with five skaters from each team on at a time, and referees monitoring play. The point scorers, or jammers, for each team are marked with a star on their helmet. The four other skaters are blockers and must stop the opposition jammer from getting through, while protecting their own jammer. Points are scored when the jammer passes the last opposition blocker’s hips. cycling fatalities were identified from 2006-13. Providing lower speed environments was directly identified as being a key preventative factor in only 11 per cent of the fatalities. However, Koorey found the survivability of virtually all cycling fatalities would be greatly improved if lower impact speeds were present. He said speed is the main safety issue facing the country’s road toll and New Zealand has been slow to reduce traffic speeds in cities. ‘‘Latest (2013) statistics show a 15 per cent increase in cycle commuting nationally. There’s a lot more desire out there to do more cycling, but the perceived existing safety environment is not helping,’’ Koorey said. ‘‘The countries with the best cycle safety records do not have cycleways everywhere – even they couldn’t afford to do that. ‘‘But what they do have, typically, are traffic calming and 30kmh limits in urban residential or CBD areas, and also lower speed limits on some rural routes. ‘‘That makes a huge difference to the likelihood and severity of cycle collisions.’’ Shopping centres such as Riccarton – and around schools – would be areas where the speeds could be lowered. ‘‘Both speed management and cycling infrastructure are relatively inexpensive. ‘‘We currently spend less than one per cent of our national transport budget on cycling and walking projects, despite 18 per cent of all trips being undertaken these ways.’’ Packed full of great ideas and activities, Kidz Biz is the best place to find out what’s on and what to do these school holidays. In the Christchurch Mail on Thursday, April 17!
April 3rd 2014
April 17th 2014