Cyclists Road Toll: Does the Police Minister Give a Toss?

The faces of cyclists road toll

Thanks to Bike Pittsburgh for the image

As is the norm, on January 1, 2014 the Western Australia Minister of Police puts out a press release on the Western Australian Road Toll. The Western Australian Police it seems is silence, unlike its counterparts in other states. So what does the Minister of Police have to say on the cyclists road toll in Western Australia in 2013? Well zilch it seems.

Police Minister Silent on the Cyclists Road Toll (and Pedestrian Road Toll)

So what does the Minster Harvey have to say on the cyclists road toll? Well she is big on WA recording one of its lowest road death tolls with 163 people killed in 2013 [The Office of Road Safety states 162 people killed in 2013] but she is well and truly silent on cyclists road toll and pedestrians road toll. Do cyclists and pedestrians actually exist in the Minister’s mindset?

The Honourable Liza Harvey MLA press release does provide a link to the Office of Road Safety however the Office of Road Safety is just as silent as the Minister with its statistics page saying nothing about cyclists or pedestrians.

All up a pretty damn poor effort by the Minister of Police, the Office of Road Safety and Western Australian Police and does not bode well for efforts to introduce safe passing legislation in WA in 2014 (one metre/1.5 metre passing distances).

I don’t as yet have the latest figures for 2013 as the far more reliable and responsible Department of Infrastructure and Transport’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics has yet to publish is December summary report on road deaths in Australia, but I have before blogged on the November 2013 report.

I noted in that post …

While the average trend change for drivers and passengers is on the decline (4.2% and 9% respectively), for cyclists the trend is upwards at 5.2% per year. We just cannot seem to get it right. Why do we keep killing vulnerable road users?

So where is Ms Harvey on the issue? Apparently nowhere along with the Office of Road Safety and the Western Australian Police 🙁

But Serious injuries get a mention …

but again for motorists, just not for cyclists or pedestrians.  Ms Harvey said the statistics released today (no direct link, no reference, no facts)

also showed a reduction in the number of critical injuries as a result of a crash. That figure has dropped from 288 in 2010 to 206 in 2013.

Note the manipulation of the statistics, comparing 2010 to 2013. Come on Minister you can do better than that. This is one area where you need to be honest up front. It is not a time to play with numbers; we are talking about people’s lives here, not sharks.

In summary, in my view a pretty poor effort by the Minister, the Office of Road Safety or should that be the Office of Motorist Safety and the Western Australian Police.  Have I got it right? Do you think the Minister has fallen short in her efforts here or has she got it right? What sort of reporting would like to see from the Minister, from Western Australian Police, Office of Road Safety? Please do share you thoughts via the comments box below.


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