Which cities are the safest in Asia for cyclists?
Posted October 05, 2018 05:16:23It’s a question that is often asked when it comes to urban cycling in Australia, and in particular the capital cities of Sydney and Melbourne.
In the past year, the number of cyclists killed in Australia has increased dramatically, with the figures rising to 10 last year, according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The figure includes cyclist deaths from road traffic and road-related accidents, and does not include people killed in other ways, such as from falling off the bike.
The number of people injured in crashes involving bicycles has also increased significantly, from 3,087 in 2015 to 3,216 in 2016.
That increase in fatalities has been driven by a rise in injuries caused by motor vehicles, which are responsible for more than 80 per cent of road fatalities in Australia.
Cycling safety experts have been quick to point out that while the number and severity of collisions have increased, so has the level of care given to cyclists.
In a recent report, the Bicycle Advisory Group said that the number for road traffic fatalities increased from 3.5 million in 2016 to 4.3 million in 2017.
That is an increase of around 5,000 people per year.
But the number injured in accidents has also risen by about 3,600 people per day, or around 20 per cent a year.
The BAG said it had “high confidence” in the safety of bicycle riders, and that the “number of serious injuries and fatalities experienced by bicycle riders has increased”.
Cyclists’ safety advocates have also welcomed the increase in cyclist deaths, saying that while there are more cyclists, more serious injuries were also happening.
“We have a situation where, while the overall number of deaths are lower, we have a higher proportion of serious cyclist injuries,” cycling advocate and former ACT Police commissioner John Parnell said.
“We’re seeing a big increase in the number injuries, and we’re seeing it in a way that’s not necessarily good for the safety and welfare of the cyclist.”
The BAA report said that for the first time, the numbers of serious cycling injuries had surpassed the number who were seriously injured, with serious injuries being defined as serious enough to require hospitalisation and require further hospitalisation.
“The increase in serious cycling injury is the result of an increase in numbers of cyclists being injured and in the severity of the injuries,” the BAA said.
“This is also a result of the use of the road more often than ever before.”
In NSW, the increase has been particularly dramatic, with fatalities increasing by around 15 per cent per year, while injuries are up about 5 per cent.
But Mr Parnll said the problem was not confined to the ACT.
“There are still some major road safety issues in NSW and elsewhere that are being missed by cyclists and motorists alike,” he said.
The Bicycle Advisory group has warned that more than 30 per cent more than 1.6 million people had been injured on roads in 2017, which the BAG attributes to the introduction of electronic ticketing systems and helmet laws.
The increase has also been driven partly by a change in attitudes towards cyclists, with drivers in the ACT more likely to stop for cyclists.
“Most drivers are much more aware of the benefits of cycling than they were a decade ago,” Mr Partell said, “so there’s been a lot of improvement in attitudes from drivers towards cyclists.”
Mr Parnsell said that although drivers in many states were more than willing to stop to help cyclists, they were now more likely “to give cyclists a very wide berth”.
“That means that they’ll get in the way of cyclists who are trying to overtake them,” he added.
“In some places, they’ll stop at the red lights and try to pass you, which they’ll do very aggressively.”
They’ll be driving on a different set of rules.
“In Sydney, the BAAA has found that more cyclists were being killed in crashes than in crashes in which no one was hurt.
That includes cyclists killed on the bike in collisions involving other vehicles.
While the number has increased by about 6,000 cyclists per day in the past four years, the total number of serious road injuries has increased from about 1.4 million to about 2.5.2 million people are expected to suffer serious injuries in 2017 alone.
In the ACT, there has been a slight decrease in injuries from other modes of transport, including vehicles, with about 0.5 per cent injury rates on roads.
But in NSW, where motor vehicle deaths have increased by almost 10 per cent in the same time period, the situation is different.”
A significant proportion of road traffic deaths in NSW are caused by crashes involving motor vehicles,” the Bicycle Association of Australia (BAA) said.
However, it said that NSW had the highest rate of fatal accidents on motor vehicles of