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Nine Bicycle Rides Killed on Australian Roads

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Nine bicycle riders have died on Australian roads as at March 2015.  The March 2015 road toll data has been released by the Department of Infrastructure and Transport’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics. The number of bicycle riders killed on our roads in the 12 months to March 2015 declined to 39. Sadly one bicycle rider was killed on our roads in Western Australia during March and we lost two other fellow riders in March 2015 with fatalities in the NSW and Queensland.

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 2015. The summary report is available from my Dropbox.

Fatalities Breakdown – March 2015

The break down of those fatalities are taken from the Australian Roads Deaths Database as at March 2015.

January 2015

Jan 19 Monday at 13:04 – Multiple Vehicle – SA
Jan 28 Wednesday at 08:35 – Multiple Vehicle – VIC
Jan 29 Thursday at 07:45 – Single Vehicle – ACT

February 2015

Feb 1 – Sunday at 08:10 – Single vehicle – NSW
Feb 16 – Monday at 05:17 – Multiple vehicle – WA [1]
Feb 27 – Friday at 16:05 – Multiple vehicle – VIC

March 2015

March 1 – Sunday at 08:25 – Multiple vehicle – NSW
March 19 – Thursday at 17:00 – Multiple vehicle – QLD
March 30 – Monday at 05:45 – Multiple vehicle – WA [2]

In summary it seems from this very limited data that week day afternoons are the most vulnerable times for bicycle riders on our roads, but overall we as riders are at most risk in the mornings. Please be alert at these vulnerable times.

Thirty-nine bicycle riders, (people: Mums, Dads, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters) have died on our roads during the past 12 months to March 2015. Families suffering the grief of lost ones. How many more families need to suffer before we take responsibility?

Thirty-nine bicycle riders killed is at least an improvement over the previous 12 months to March 2014 and a decline of 25.0%, but the average trend change per year still continues to get worse at 8.9%, an increase decrease of 1.4%.

Road Toll Overall

Whilst my interest here is focused on the outcomes for bicycle riders, there were 102 road deaths in March 2015, a decrease in comparison to March 2014 when 113 people were killed. For the 12 months ended March 2015, 1,141 people have died on our roads. Of those 1,141, 155 were pedestrians, 39 were bicycle riders (a decrease of 13 over the previous 12 months), 198 were motorcyclists and 7464 were motor vehicle occupants. Our thoughts are with their families. All these deaths could have been avoided.

National Trends – Bad for Bicycle Riders

While the average trend change for drivers continues to decline (-3.3% and -3.6% respectively) which is a good thing, for bicycle riders the trend is still upwards and increasing at 8.9% per year. 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 bicycle riders; demanding bicycle riders earn respect is no justification for not ensuring their use of the road is accepted. It is simply not okay to kill and injury others, period and we need to make this clear as a society, we need a Police force and a judiciary that understands this.

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.

Western Australia Bicycle Riders Killed on our Roads in 2015

The purpose here is to remember those bicycle riders killed on our roads here in Western Australia.

[1] Kaleb Smith was killed in a crash on Toodyay Road, Gidgegannup whilst riding his bicycle to work. It is reported that Kaleb Smith was “clipped” by a truck travelling in the same direction. There has been no further details released at this time and no charges have been laid to my knowledge. Sadly this is the type of crash where a bicycle rider is killed by a vehicle travelling in the same direction that minimum safe passing laws should help prevent.
[2] An unidentified [identity not released to my knowledge] bicycle rider was killed attempting to cross High Road in Riverton. It would seem from the reporting and photos that the bicycle rider was attempting to cross High Road when hit by a motorist.

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