• May 11, 2018
These yellow and black bikes dotted around City aim to help Auckland's transport issues. Photo: Caitlin Simm.
Helmet thieves are derailing a scheme to get people out of cars and onto short-term rental bikes.
A spokesman for rental bike company Onzo,says its bikes come with a helmet but within the last month many have been stolen.
"We are committed to providing a safe riding experience.
“We provide every Onzo bike with a helmet, and also constantly replace helmets on bikes that are without them, but it is hard to keep up with the amount being lost [or] stolen."
The yellow and black bikes dotted around Auckland city can be unlocked by using the company’s mobile app which releases the bike lock for a fee.
Helmet thefts have resulted in people riding unsafely and against the law.
An Onzo spokesperson told Te Waha Nui their main aim was education and to help normalise cycling in Auckland and New Zealand, as they believe there are many benefits to cycling.
Police are reminding Onzo users that helmets have been compulsory since 1994.
“Unfortunately, not all cyclists take these messages on board and this results in enforcement.
"If possible, cyclists are offered compliance, a chance to avoid $55 fine for not wearing a helmet, and the opportunity to put that money towards purchasing a helmet so they are safer going forward," says a New Zealand Police spokesperson.
"We’ve seen a lot of people simply confused as to how our service works and we believe this is contributing to a lack of helmet use as well as people damaging our bikes," says the Onzo spokesperson
“Hopefully once cycling is normalised in the city, then it will be safe enough that helmets will no longer be necessary - which is the case iin the vast majority of other cities around the world."
Onzo must follow a code of practice provided by Auckland Transport.