A logging truck driver is speaking up about cyclist behaviour on Mount Maunganui roads in what he describes as a death waiting to happen.
Jase Lunn, is one of four logging truck drivers who commute daily between the log yard on the corner of Hewletts Road and Totara Street and to the Tauranga Port entrance at Tasman Quay.
He says cycle behaviour at the Tasman Quay and Hewletts Road intersection is becoming a serious concern.
“On multiple occasions I’ve seen the same thing happen, where cyclists heading straight on Hewlett’s Road have failed to acknowledge the lights and have cycled out directly in front of me as my light turns green for me to go.”
Jase says it’s a daily occurrence.
“It’s crazy it’s not just one person, or two people, it’s everyone.
“Yesterday was one of the worst I’ve seen in a while. I witnessed two teenage girls cycling out in front of me. They had a quick look, which most of them tend to do, and then just rode out anyway, as I was turning. It was nearly the end of them.
“They don’t even blink an eye, they don’t even shrug, they just carry on.
“I don’t think most of these cyclists understand how difficult it is for drivers of heavy vehicles such as mine, especially when they are fully loaded, to come to a full stop once they have moved off from being stationary. The motion is such a great force.”
“Cyclists are failing to use dedicated pedestrian crossing lights at that intersection.”
He says he’s filed a police report about the incident.
“If authorities were to come down and observe for just 15 minutes they would see this happening, it is that frequent.
“I am absolutely terrified I will be involved in an accident one day. If I get involved in that I have to do drug tests and go through a whole bunch of other things.
“It would destroy me. Driving logging trucks is my bread and butter and I would never drive again if I was involved in an accident.
“I’ve called council and they’ve suggested placing more signage at the intersection. Signs won’t do anything in my opinion, the lights aren’t doing anything.”
Jase says metal access bars, similar to what might be seen at beach access points or in alley ways may be one solution to help slow cyclists down.
“You sort of have to walk between them or push your bike between those bar to get through and I think if they were set up in this area it would force cyclists to stop and actually look around.
“I might see one maybe two people actually stop at that crossing in a day. I personally wouldn’t have the kahunas to just ride across on my own bike without fully making sure I was aware of everything in my surroundings.
“I’m not criticising people for using their bikes. I have a bike myself, and I really commend people that are getting the exercise in, using their bikes and making an effort, but they’re not going to get home at the end of the day if they keep on doing what they’re doing.”
He wants to see stricter enforcement in the area.
“Obey the lights and the obey rules. It’s $150 if you run a red light and that applies to cyclists too.”