Following another year where bike riding fatalities have remained stagnant, Bicycle Network is calling for urgent action from governments to properly address risks for people who ride bikes.
Bicycle Network today released its snapshot of 2018 bike rider fatalities showing how many people tragically lost their lives while riding a bike and what the biggest risk factors were.
The snapshot revealed that there continues to be no meaningful reduction in the number of people dying on our roads while riding bikes. This is in stark contrast to the overall road toll which is steadily declining.
Last year, 35 people tragically died while riding their bike in Australia. The 20-year average remains at 37 fatalities and has barely changed in more than two decades.
It is unacceptable that while the overall road toll continues to steadily decline the same number of people who a killed while riding a bike does not change.
While there may be more people who ride bikes than there were 20 years ago, that does not mean we can accept no change in bike rider fatalities.
Every person who loses their life while riding a bike is one too many. The far reaching impact on the family, friends and wider community cannot be forgotten or minimised.
Australia, like the world’s leading countries for road safety, must keep striving towards zero.
Bicycle Network’s 2018 bike rider fatality snapshot highlights a number of common factors among fatalities. It also shows that these risks can be reduced and removed.
The snapshot shows that people who ride bikes are all being killed in similar circumstances, with drivers of motor vehicles, regional roads and high speeds posing the greatest risks.
Nearly 50 per cent of crashes resulting in a bike rider fatality occurred on regional roads. Many of these roads carry high speeds and are narrow without sealed shoulders, leaving little room for safe passing.
80 per cent of bike rider fatalities were caused by a crash with a motor vehicle, with 34 per cent of those vehicles being trucks and buses.
83 per cent of fatal crashes occurred on roads with speed limits of 50km/h or more.
As part of the report, Bicycle Network has highlighted five key areas where federal and state governments can urgently act to reduce the risk for people who ride.
Bicycle Network's five key priorities:
- Invest in places for people to ride separately from motor vehicles
- Reduce speeds
- Introduce and enforce supportive laws and policies such as minimum passing distance laws
- Set safer vehicle standards, particularly for heavy vehicles
- Stop distracted driving
- People riding bikes are killed in crashes with other motor vehicles (80%), with trucks and buses posing a significant risk (34%).
- The higher the speed, the more likely the crash will be fatal, with 83% of bike rider fatalities happening in speed zones of 50km/h or more.
- Middle aged men are the most likely group to be killed while riding a bike – the average age is 49.
- Regional roads pose a high risk, representing 45% of crashes resulting in a bike rider fatality.
- More bike rider fatalities occur during peak hour in warmer months.
- Australian Capital Territory: 1
- New South Wales: 8
- Northern Territory: 0
- Queensland: 6
- South Australia: 8
- Tasmania: 1
- Victoria: 7
- Western Australia: 5
Influencing investment in bike riding
Check out our budget submissions which outline some key actions for both state and federal governments that will reduce the risks and make it easier for more people to ride.
- Victorian State Budget submission
- NSW State Budget submission
- TAS State Budget submission
- Federal State Budget submission
Bicycle Network has also put together a key list of priorities for the coming NSW state election.