Fifty nine 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 nine cyclists is a 69% increase compared to the 12 months ended April 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 May 2014. The full summary report is available from my Dropbox.
Whilst my interest here is the outcomes for cyclists, there were 102 road deaths in May 2014 (a shocking 29 more people killed on our roads compared to April 2014) and for the 12 months ended May 2014, 1,176 people have died on our roads. Of those 1,176, 169 were pedestrians, 59 were cyclists (an increase of 24 over the previous 12 months), 169 were motorcyclists and 756 were motor vehicle occupants. Our thoughts are with their families. All these deaths could have been avoided.
As at the end of May 2014 59 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 69% 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 (-4.4% and -7.2% respectively) which is a good thing, for cyclists the trend is still upwards and increasing at 11.7% 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 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.