Alarming Increase in Cycling Deaths
The peak national motoring organisation, the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), has released new analysis showing there is significant cause for concern over the significant increase in cyclist deaths despite an overall decline in the number of road fatalities.
"An overall reduction in the road toll is encouraging but the trend shows Australia will still fall well short of meeting its agreed target," AAA Chief Executive Andrew McKellar said.
The latest Benchmarking the Performance of the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) shows in the 12 months to September 2013, 1,234 road deaths were recorded – a fall of 5.4 per cent compared to a year earlier.
The analysis highlights significant emphasis needs to be made to improve the safety of cycling with 45 fatalities in the past 12 months – a rise of 32 per cent.
"The rise in cycling deaths is particularly alarming and these figures don't account for the growing number of serious injuries that are also occurring," Mr McKellar said.
"The growing resurgence in bike usage across Australia and indeed, with many governments and councils encouraging cycling, this needs to be supported by well-designed infrastructure and an understanding of the road safety implications," he said.
"The clubs will continue to support cycling and the promotion of better on and off-road facilities," Mr McKellar said.
"Governments and road authorities must use this analysis to better prioritize safety, planning, infrastructure and education campaigns," he said.