But fifty bicycle riders have died on our roads during the past 12 months, fifty too many. How many more families need to suffer before we take responsibility? Fifty cyclists, whilst a thankful decline of six less cyclists killed compared to my previous report on the 12 months to July 2014 it is still a 19.05% increase compared to the 12 months ended October 2014. Is this simply a reflection of more bicycle riders on the riding?
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 October 2014. The full summary report is available from my Dropbox.
Whilst my interest here is focused on the outcomes for bicycle riders, there were 108 road deaths in October 2014, a very disappointing and sad increase over October 2013 when 94 people where killed. For the 12 months ended October 2014, 1,178 people have died on our roads. Of those 1,178, 155 were pedestrians, 50 were cyclists (an increase of eight over the previous 12 months), 194 were motorcyclists and 775 were motor vehicle occupants. Our thoughts are with their families. All these deaths could have been avoided.
While the average trend change for drivers and passengers continues to decline (-3.1% and -6.6% respectively) which is a good thing, for cyclists the trend is still upwards and increasing at 8.8% 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.