Fifty two cyclists have died on our roads, yes they are our roads during the past 12 months. Families suffering the grief of lost ones. How many more families need to suffer before we take responsibility? Fifty two cyclists is a 33.3% increase, yes a 1/3 increase in deaths over the 12 months ended February 2014. Here in Western Australia when is the Honourable Liza Harvey, Minister for Road Safety going to act? Is it time to start asking if the Minister is the appropriate person for the job? She does not seem to have the answers.
The Department of Infrastructure and Transport’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics publishes monthly, a summary report on road deaths in Australia. This issue is dated March 2014. The full summary report is available from my Dropbox.
Whilst my interest here is the outcomes for cyclists, there were 110 road deaths in March 2014 (up an incredible 18 people dead on the previous month) and for the 12 months ended March 2014, 1,188 people have died on our roads. Of those 1,188, 165 were pedestrians, 52 were cyclists (an increase of 13 over the previous 12 months), 202 were motorcyclists and 761 were motor vehicle occupants. Our thoughts are with their families. All these deaths could have been avoided.
As at the end of March 2014 52 cyclists had died on Australian roads in the past 12 months, a shocking outcome of our failure to use our public roads in a responsible manner. This is made worse by the fact that it is a 33.3% increase over the previous period: it just keeps getting worse with no sign of improvement. What sort of shocking death rate is it going to take for the Western Australian Minister of Police to take action? While the average trend change for drivers and passengers continues to decline (-4% and -9.2% respectively) which is a good thing, for cyclists the trend is still upwards at 9.8% per year and rising. We just cannot seem to get it right. Why do we keep killing vulnerable road users? Blaming cyclist is not the answer either – red light jumping is not killing cyclists; demanding cyclists earn respect is no justification for not ensuring their use of the road is accept. It is not okay to kill and injury others, period.
Our National Road Safety Strategy is continuing to fail our most vulnerable road users, people, yes cyclists are people, people who choose to ride bicycles.