Cycle crash data confirms need for new investment in safe cycleways
New data on road crashes reported to the police has found nearly 800 cyclists are injured on Queensland roads each year, costing the economy over $220 million annually.
The data, taken from the latest release of the Queensland Road Crash Database, reports 13,490 crashes over the period from 2001 to 2017, representing an average of at least 15 crashes each week.
Bicycle Queensland CEO, Anne Savage, said the data was alarming.
“The overwhelming majority of crashes involving cyclists were with a motor vehicle, demonstrating the need for stronger investment in separated cycleways,” Ms Savage said.
“Of serious concern, there was a 32 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of cyclists hospitalised after a road crash between January and July 2017, representing a 16.5 per cent increase on the five-year average.
“This was an overall increase of 57 more cyclists taken to hospital, from 178 hospitalised in 2016 to 235 hospitalised in 2017.
“Without concerted investment to improve on-road bike lanes and build new separated cycleways, this trend will be hard to arrest.
“Separated cycleways protect vulnerable road users and eliminate risks of collisions involving motor vehicles – giving riders and drivers greater peace of mind.
“Our goal is zero deaths on our roads and zero tolerance for dangerous and distracted driving and riders who disobey the law.”
Space4cyclingbne spokesperson, Belinda Ward, said over 4,300 crashes involving cyclists occurred in the Brisbane region over the period from 2001 to 2017.
“Looking at the days and times crashes occur, this isn’t just something that’s happening to weekend warriors – weekday crash rates are highest, and people travelling at peak times make up the majority of those getting hurt.
“While we don’t like publicising cycling crashes, we do believe this data should be used to help inform where infrastructure spending ought to be directed for maximum benefit.
“Investment in improved infrastructure for cycling needs to be directed where it will have most effect.
“Crash data highlights blackspots at locations where bicycle advocacy groups have been calling for improved infrastructure or high-quality alternative routes – we must act now to stop people from getting hurt at known blackspot locations.”
Ms Savage said Bicycle Queensland was committed to working with government authorities and the community to improve infrastructure at identified bike crash locations in the road network.
“Our analysis also found that in Brisbane’s CBD, lowering of the speed limit from 50km/hr to 40km/hr in 2009 effectively reduced the severity of road crash injuries for cyclists, bringing the average cost down by $30,000 per crash, from about $250k to $220k,” Ms Savage said.
“This strongly backs up the international evidence that lowering speed limits saves lives.”