December 2014 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 December 2014 declined to 45. At last we had a relatively safe month, which at least saw the yearly figure whilst still the second highest fatality rate five years was a decline over 2013.
Forty-five bicycle riders, (people: Mums, Dads, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters) have died on our roads during the past 12 months to December 2014. Families suffering the grief of lost ones. How many more families need to suffer before we take responsibility?
Forty-five bicycle riders killed is at least an improvement over 2013 and at last a decline of 10%, but the average trend change per year still continues to get worse at 7.5%.
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 December 2014. The summary report is available from my Dropbox.
Whilst my interest here is focused on the outcomes for bicycle riders, there were 83 road deaths in December 2014, a significant decline over December 2013 when 108 people were killed. For the 12 months ended December 2014, 1,153 people have died on our roads. Of those 1,153, 151 were pedestrians, 45 were bicycle riders (a decrease of five over the previous 12 months), 192 were motorcyclists and 752 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 (-3.7% and -7.4% respectively) which is a good thing, for bicycle riders the trend is still upwards and increasing at 7.5% 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.