A record number of NSW cyclists – 2330 – were taken to hospital in 2021, the most since complete hospital records began to be collected in 2005.
Cyclist David Page has experienced at least 12 serious incidents of dangerous driving and abuse from motorists while on the road in Sydney.
“If you want to kill someone, do it with a car because you will always get off,” said Page, a doctor who lives near Turramurra.
Bike riders now represent about one in four (23 per cent) of road crash hospitalisations, and are the only road user group to report increasing injury numbers recently.
From 2005 to 2021, 173 bicyclists were killed and 29,464 were seriously injured on the state’s roads. However, many of these injuries were not reported to police and did not involve another vehicle, Transport for NSW said.
In the 12 months to the end of January 2023, 20 fines were issued to drivers in NSW for breaking the minimum passing distance rule, but none in the Christmas holiday period of December and January despite several statewide traffic blitzes.
In comparison, since 2016, cyclists have received about 55,000 fines for a range of offences, mostly for not wearing a helmet or not having it correctly fastened (31,402 penalties), riding on the footpath (5645 fines), riding at night without a light (5678) and not having a working bell (2476). There have also been 207 fines for “not ride on far-left side of road”.
Most of us have heard recently about warnings issued by police to local riders for rolling through STOP signs.
The SMH reports that the number of fines handed to cyclists in NSW has surged by more than a third in the first year of increased penalties, which has led to the state government collecting more than $2.2 million in revenue from the top-five offences.
Almost two-thirds of the 9760 infringement notices issued in the 12 months after the new laws were introduced were for failing to wear helmets, the fine for which quadrupled to $319 on March 1 last year.
Tampere, Finland: The largest review yet of bike helmet use by 64,000 injured cyclists worldwide has found helmets reduce the chances of a serious head injury by nearly 70 per cent.
Claims that bike helmets damaged the neck and caused serious brain injury were also found to be wrong in the study by University of NSW statistician Dr Jake Olivier, who presented on Tuesday to the international injury prevention conference Safety 2016 in Finland.
This article will promote some interesting discussion….
From SMH (6/8/2016): When it comes to safety on two wheels, is brighter really better, or have we been sold the great fluoro fallacy?
“Being visible is different from being noticed. Visibility is about standing out from the background and cyclists can enhance that, especially in poor weather or low lighting conditions, by wearing high-visibility materials,” says Dr Sandar Tin Tin
“But being noticed is different because it depends on drivers’ attention to and expectation of the cyclists,” she says.
This distinction is key to a Transport for London commercial, viewed more than 22 million times on YouTube, that asks viewers to count how many passes a basketball team makes.