Public urged to help curb cycle couriers

Dominion (Wellington, New Zealand), sometime 14-20 Feb 99

By Christine Langdon

Police and courier compaines are urging the public to help catch cycle couriers causing problems on Weliington streets.

Police are considering prosecuting an Ansett Express cycle courier after a woman pedestrian was knocked over and verbally assaulted last week. Police sergant Dave Rose advised other cycle courier to take more care. Mr Rose said couriers, who are paid "by-the-packet", were running red lights, ignoring road signs and riding on footpaths.

Ansett Express supervisor Hamish Davidson said the pressures of the job caused some couriers to ride recklessly. Riders were reprimanded if they were reported to have run red lights or cycled on the footpath, and could be fired for repeatedly offending.

Other Wellington courier companies voiced concerns yesterday about the reputations of their riders and encouraged the public to make written complaints to companies or police.

Police could issue instant fines of up to $75. Mr Rose said about 100 riders had been ticketed since August. "I am concerned that it doesn't appear to be abating despite our efforts to curb it."

Office Express manager Rachel Sutherland said companies could not fix the problem unless they knew who was at fault.

FX Couriers raod manager Shayne Heathcote said he would act on complaints, though he believed police could show more lenience to riders. "They are blowing it a bit out of proportion."

He said that as long as riders were cautious, running red lights should be ok. "You should at least be allowed to step off your bike and ride one-legged. For the number of cycle couriers in town I don't think there are that many problems"

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