Fifty six cyclists have died on 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 six cyclists, whilst a thankful decline of two less cyclists killed compared to the 12 months to June 2014 is still a 43.6% increase compared to the 12 months ended July 2013.
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 July 2014. The full summary report is available from my Dropbox.
Whilst my interest here is the outcomes for cyclists, there were 90 road deaths in July 2014 (thankfully three fewer people killed on our roads compared to June 2014) and for the 12 months ended July 2014, 1,157 people have died on our roads. Of those 1,157, 164 were pedestrians, 56 were cyclists (an increase of 17 over the previous 12 months), 192 were motorcyclists and 740 were motor vehicle occupants. Our thoughts are with their families. All these deaths could have been avoided.
As at the end of July 2014 56 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 43.6% increase over the previous period: it just seems like there is no significant 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 (-4.2% and -7.2% respectively) which is a good thing, for cyclists the trend is still upwards and increasing at 10.7% 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 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.