It’s a shame that it takes tragic accidents for simple issues like hi-vis gear to be called for and government bodies to take note.
It’s amazing, when it comes for further restrictions/laws to be placed on cars the Greens are supporting it. When it comes to harsher penalties for careless or reckless drivers to be employed they support it(I don’t disagree with that myself) yet when something simple/cheap/effective like a hi-vis vest is raised they all step back in horror, its victim blaming, a barrier? LOL.
What BS is this, how can a hi-vis vest be victim blaming, it’s something that work safe, unions, Governments, Insurance, companies, employers etc., are happy to support in the workplace which is a controlled environment and with trained and qualified people. Yet a place with people riding a vehicle who have no training, no qualifications, no insurance, no registration, the idea of a hi-vis vest or strip is a barrier or victim blaming, please?
Do we think that getting workers or employees to wear such vests is victim blaming, for those involved in accidents in the past of course not, it’s just ridiculous. Its called learning from the past and changing the future for the better.
There seems to be some sort of feeling that once we get dedicated cycle paths, cycle accidents/deaths will stop? Sorry but the Netherlands, the equal highest/best rated cycle infrastructure in the world, has more cycle related deaths than Australia does. More than double, of course they have a lot more people riding bikes, but their average trip journey is not very far about either 2.5kms. That doesn’t take you very far in Australia in any terms.
50% of their average, almost 200 yearly cycle related deaths,are not involving a car, truck or bus collision. So close to 100 people die riding bikes each year in Holland which are not related to a car type accident, perhaps that’s due to their lowest use of bike helmets?
Looking back in Australian history, bike related deaths were over 130 a year in the mid 1960’s, the main drop in deaths came after the 1990’s when helmets became better and use was enforced while riding. This dropped cycle related deaths to the low 40’s by 1992.
While Australia is showing an increase in cycle related deaths, countries like Canada have had increases of over 2.5x what Australia has had, the country we are supposed to be following or looking to, if you believe what you read in the West and from certain academics.
Some key findings from the Department of Infrastructure and Transport study done into cyclists deaths where I quote,
• The most frequently assigned major factor in fatal road crashes involving cyclists in the period 1996 to 2004 was the failure of cyclists and other road users to observe each other on the road. For cyclists, their visibility remains a key safety issue.
• The most common type of crash in which cyclists were fatally injured was the cyclist being hit from behind by a motor vehicle travelling in the same lane in the same direction. Cyclists riding on rural roads are particularly at risk of being run over from behind.
• The next most common crash type was the cyclist riding from the footway into an intersection or onto a road and being hit by an oncoming motor vehicle.
• In over 60 per cent of crashes, the cyclist was deemed to be ‘responsible’ for the action that precipitated the fatal crash. This was particularly the case in crashes at intersections where the cyclist was either riding through the intersection on the road or moving from the footway onto the intersection. Cyclists were also found to be primarily responsible in other crashes where the cyclist moved from the footway to the road.
• In one-third of crashes (75), either the cyclist or the driver of the motor vehicle failed to observe the other. In another 21 crashes, some kind of misjudgement by the cyclist or the driver of the motor vehicle was considered to be the major factor in the crash. In another 14 crashes, the cyclist ‘failed to observe road traffic signal or sign’ and in another 13 crashes the bicycle had a ‘critical malfunction or defect’.
Examining the crashes in 2001–04, it was observed that:
•In 65 of the 113 cases, helmet usage was unknown but 30 of the cyclists were wearing a helmet and 18 were not. About one-third of cyclists wearing a helmet died of head injuries, while about half of those not wearing a helmet died of head injuries.
It’s a lengthy report and takes data from different years . I have link for anyone who wants to read the whole thing. Some Canadian medical research also showed that about 30% of fatalities could have been prevented with helmet use. Just last year a fireman down Mosman way was hit by a careless driver, his doctors at the time reporting the helmet saved his life.
After reading several of these studies and lots of press reports it shows that everyone has to follow the rules and the laws of the road and have more respect for other road users. I think in all the studies I read visibility was a clear issue of importance, it doesn’t matter how careful someone is if they can’t see someone till it’s too late, possibly why Australian standards require a light for a bike that can be seen 200m away, so I would say that things like a hi-vis vest or strip straps etc., that catch people’s attention are a good idea just like a reflectors are on a bike, common sense. Is $9.99 to much to help protect your life? Other don’t seem to mind spending $500+ hoping to video a car closer than a 1.5m from them?
Just recently London has rejected the call which we are now seeing called for in Fremantle to drop urban speed limits to 20km/h.
I wonder which direction the state government will have a harder time selling to the general electors, 20km/h speed limits or hi-vis vests?
Clearly the best way to keep cyclists safe is to get them to ride where cars aren’t but it seems even cyclists aren’t happy riding with cyclists, so maybe we need to have another set of paths for more hardcore cyclists, where will it stop? As we saw a few days back in Melbourne with the notorious bicycle group hells ride, are again in the spotlight after a number of other cyclists were reportedly seriously injured in a crash with those taking part. My my, that was quiet in the press, no beat up on that one, no calling to arms there, I wonder why?? It seems they are known for failing to stop at accidents they cause or are involved in? Groups like Melbournes Bicycle Network have been reported to have said they have a legal and moral obligation to stop.
7yrs still mass accidents?????? Can you image the outcry if a car had knocked down 6 cyclists in one incident? It doesn’t matter what the cause is the goal is to stop needless death and injury?
There are now so many cyclists in Australia that their interests can no longer be ignored, said Rob Berry, general manager of BikeWise, which offers cycling skills courses in Sydney. About 3.6 million people, or 17 percent of the population, ride a bike in Australia each week, according to last year’s National Cycling Participation Survey.
“The big message is cycle graciously,” said Berry, 28, who racks up more than 12,000 kilometers by bike every year. “If you go out thinking there’s a war on the roads, you’ll start believing there’s a war on the roads.”