A report from the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) shows that bike rider fatalities increased by 80 per cent over the past 12 months from July 2017 to July 2018.
They say that this, along with no real decrease in total road fatalities over 12 months, shows that Australia's National Road Safety Strategy is failing.
In the 12 months ending June 2018 (the last financial year), 45 biker rider deaths were recorded in Australia.
While bike rider fatalities are also often reported by calendar years, the AAA report has collated data from 2011 and shows no meaningful reduction over that time.
Bicycle Network's own 1998-2017 bike rider fatality report released earlier this year found that deaths have been stagnant for two decades with an average of 37 per calendar year.
Whichever way you dissect the data, one thing is clear: the number of people being killed while riding a bike is not improving.
“It is unacceptable that there has been no meaningful reduction in the number of bike rider fatalities," said Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richards.
“Bike rider fatalities in Australia haven’t decreased for two decades and sadly it seems there will be no improvement in 2018. What’s being done isn’t working and there needs to be immediate intervention,” Says Richards.
“Roads must be upgraded to keep bikes and cars separate and in-car technology that helps avoid crashes by removing human error should be mandated. This includes lane-keep assistance, autonomous braking and technology that blocks mobile phone use.”
Some of these actions are listed in the priority actions for 2018-2020 in the National Road Safety Strategy which is positive, however, as it stands, the plan will fail by not reaching its target of reducing the annual number of road crash fatalities by at least 30 per cent.
While the plan admits that the 30 per cent target is ambitious, no improvement, or an increase, in bike rider fatalities is unacceptable.
August off to a tragic start
Australia's bike riding community have been shaken by a harrowing weekend which saw three people tragically killed while riding their bikes.
- Investigations are continuing following the death of a 37-year old bike rider after colliding with a truck in Albion, Brisbane.
- An Australian tourist was tragically killed by a garbage truck in New York.
- A 27 Dutch-national was killed on Chapel Street, South Yarra in a disturbing hit and run. Victoria Police have arrested and are questioning a male suspect. A memorial ride is planned for Tuesday 21 August.
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