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”.