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WHIZZ! THE CYCLONE CYCLIST.

RECKLESS CWUSC, AND ITS CONSEQUENCES. A RECORD OF INJURIES. Serious accidents to pedestrians run down by reckless cyclists have becomo so f reoueiit in the city during nvent weeks that it is time for tho authorities to ImII a halt upon the tendency to high speed on tlio part of tlio bicyclist, tho motor cyclist, and tho driver of tho automobile. Almobt daily these adventurous spirits may bo aeen testing the capacity of the city's thoroughfares for record-breaking purposes, and tho wonder is that the list of injured is not a consnicuous item of weekly returns. It must bo admitted that it is scarcely tho fault or virtue of the users of high-speed vehicles that the great risks thoy take in tho cily thoroughfares aro not attended with serious calamities. At nighttime, as well as during the busy houra of the duy, the motor cyclist may be seen "pacing" the bicyclist along the wood-paved portions of iho city, especially along Courtenayplace, through Ivoni-tcrrace, and lip and down Adelaide-road. Motorists of the city may also bo seen showing off the pares of their cars along the wime thoroughfares, whilst pedestrians nnd vohicles of a slower nxvnis of locomotion have continuully to keep an oa-r opon $o the autocratic call of the boll of j the high-speed machines. Tho bicy- j clist, of course, must emulate tho raj pidity of his rivals, and as tho tendency to a great speed has been allowed to develop, eapecialy sinco tho coming of the electric tramcar — which, by the way, also travels too fast on the shopping route— •the cyclist now "scorchos" to his heart's content. He mny bo seen froqiiently rushing down the steep grades in the city and suburbs uttorly regardloss of nny one or anything that may be round the next corner; lie comes from the north and from the south, and all too often at his fastest and without any slackening of spoed in crossing tho intersections of streets or on going round cornors. lie follows a policy of whizz! On Saturday night, at 8 o'clock, whon the city'a streets were thronged with pedestrians, two motor cycles, with trailers attached, drove along crowded 6trrets and peremptorily demanded tho right-of-way — and got it from a public that must needs givo way when tho unrestricted motorist drives. . Who is to blame for this undcsirablo state of things 1 It appears from enquiries mad? oy a member of our staff that the police and the Corporait ion havo tha power to put a stop to persons driving vehicles at a speed that threatens to endangor pedestrians or other traflic. It has been said that the police aro too tired to take any notko of, othor than to admire, speody locomotion on the part of other people, whilst, tho Corporation's oflkcis aro too busily engaged on other matters to bo given tho opportunity of seeing what is (lashing under the notice of the ordinary cituen, who goes about in constant clanger of being upset or badly bumped. It is an interesting study of up-to-date life in Wellington to watch tho frniulc efforts of men, women, and children to cross a, busy stroet during the busy hours of the day. Tho bylaws of the city stipulate that cyclists must not travel at a greater spued than eight miles an hour in going through tho streets of the city, or at a greater spued than four. miles in turning corners or passing the intersections of streets. What cyclist observes this InwV Why, tho rate of spued in common practice is more liko 20 miles nn hour, nnd the slackening down for corner-turning in frequently only sufficient to allow a cyclist to maku tho turn. Tho D3'la.W governing tho speed of motor-car and motor-cycles is unsatisfactory, in (lint it limits the speed to a "reaKorwblo" rato, having regard to tho tr.iHic or safety of tho people either on the street or in tho car. What is tho roinedy? Tho remedy to be applied should be so drastic as to make it prohibitory for tbeao high-speed travellers to traverse the busiest streets of tho city, say, Cuba-street, Mannersstreet, Willis-street, and Lnmbton-quay. They ought to be made to take tho lessfrequented thoroughfares. It might be asked, also, how the high-speed culprit is to be prevented from gomg his own gait along the streets. In Sydney tho police tak© very prompt action in stopping a cyclist who Is travelling too fast. If, on receiving word from the policeman to stop, the cyclist continues on his way, the officer of the law literally "puts a spoke in his wheel," and the cyclist come* to grief with a damaged machine. Apropos, a good story of the "getting even" kind in told of a gentleman in Wellington who cut» a big figure in tho Civil Service. It w his custom every morning to walk along one of our wellpsve'd street*. Morning after morning a certain cyclwt used to experiment how close he could whizz past the pedestrian, and the rider judged his distance so nicely and made the pace so warm th»t ho got on the nerves as well as tho form of the pedestrian. At last the latter decided upon revenge ; the cyclist should not do all the laughing. He decided to try some "distance judging" nlso, and ho did it so effectively with his sturdy walking-stick one morning, getting it fairly between tho spokes of "tho other fellow*" wheel, that the machine was badly buckled, and the cyclist came a cropper. The pedestrian paused for a moment, looked down upon tho wreck, and remarked with a keen chuckle : "Not so funny this morning, young fellow, is it?" But all tho stories are not tinged with a note of merriment. Thero bto wellauthenticated records of oldcrly women and girls who havo been run down by cyclists, and (the brutality and selfishness of it!) left lying unconscious in tho roadway whilst the cyclist has gono on hia way knowing that ho has caused an accident, but heedless of tl»o conso((uonces. In somo cases tho collisions have been caused by boys and youths who evidently bavo been afraid of acknowledging their offence, fearful of having to pay for damages, or somo othcT modo of punishment. It is plainly evident that as cyclists are callous and will not regul/ito their speed, the law mwst bo enforced and an cxamplo made of persons who are a menace to tho lives and limbs of pedestrians.

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19050522.2.60

Bibliographic details

WHIZZ! THE CYCLONE CYCLIST., Evening Post, Volume LXIX, Issue 119, 22 May 1905

Word Count
1,081

WHIZZ! THE CYCLONE CYCLIST. Evening Post, Volume LXIX, Issue 119, 22 May 1905

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