Several recent bicycle accidents on New South Wales roads have prompted Transport for NSW to issue an urgent call for cyclists and motorists to show caution and awareness of each other.
Centre for Road Safety general manager Marg Prendergast revealed today (February 20) that so far this year, four cyclists have been killed on NSW roads – compared to seven cyclists in the whole of 2012.
She said that with a growing number of cyclists in the community, cycle safety was an issue for all road users.
“Drivers need to be vigilant and look out for cyclists particularly when using the kerbside lane where cyclists are often travelling,” said Ms Prendergast in a statement.
It is not just vehicle drivers who need to do all they can to minimise the risk of collision on the roads, however.
The Centre for Road Safety has reached out to the Amy Gillett Foundation (AGF) – a charity with the aim of reducing the incidence of death and injury of bike riders – to help raise cyclists’ awareness of their road safety.
Ms Prendergast says that cyclists need to play their part, and wearing the right helmet and highly visible clothing is very important.
AGF chief executive officer Tracey Gaudry said that there had been much good work to improve cycling safety by road authorities, governments and cycling bodies.
What was sadly clear however, according to Ms Gaudry, was that so far those efforts had not been enough. This was reflected in the “sobering facts” of the road toll.
Both AGF and Transport for NSW highlight the importance of mutual respect between motorists and cyclists.
When out on the roads there is no doubt it is easy to find fault in the driving of others – and that can go for cyclists too.
Such misunderstanding shouldn’t stop both groups from respecting each other and from being vigilant to the dangers that come with sharing the roadways.
“This includes speed reduction, better driver and rider education and the importance of road rules,” said Ms Gaudry.
Compared to car occupants, cyclists have a higher risk of being injured in a collision.
Cyclists injured in a road accident in NSW may be able to seek compensation for their medical expenses, legal fees, economic loss or more.