With the Tour de France set to begin this weekend, NSW authorities are expecting to see more cyclists take to the streets closer to home as they get inspired by their heroes overseas.
This has them concerned for two main reasons.
Firstly, according to Centre for Road Safety general manager Marg Prendergast, nine cyclists have already died on NSW roads in 2013. That’s three times as many as had by this stage in 2012, and indeed two more than the total number of cycle fatalities last year.
Secondly, with the winter months upon us, shorter days mean fewer daylight hours. That means that cyclists may often be on the roads in low light conditions, making it even more of a challenge for other road users to see them.
As a result, Transport for NSW has partnered with the Amy Gillett Foundation to promote cyclist safety on the state’s roads.
It will spend $400,000 promoting cyclist safety by reminding other road users – and cyclists themselves – of their responsibilities to each other.
Drivers will be urged to stay vigilant and to stay at least a metre away from riders when overtaking. Cyclists are to be reminded that they need to obey all road rules, including stopping at red lights, wearing a helmet and riding predictably.
“Cyclists are extremely vulnerable on the roads and it’s tragic that there has [sic] been so many cyclist lives lost in less than six months,” said Ms Prendergast in a statement today (June 26).
“It’s important to remember the road toll represents lives lost, hearts broken, dreams dashed and futures changed forever.”
She said that it was incumbent on all road users to do what they could to preserve the safety of a certain group – such as cyclists – when such a spike in fatalities occurs.
Tracey Gaudry, chief executive officer of the Amy Gillett Foundation, welcomed the chance to work with Transport for NSW to make the road a safer environment for cyclists.
“A substantial commitment to change is needed to achieve our collective vision for zero bicycle rider fatalities,” she said.
“Everyone has the right to ride safely for work and play.”
Cyclists or motorbike riders injured on NSW roads may be entitled to claim for car accident compensation for their injuries.
If you or a loved one want to learn more about car accident compensation, talk to specialist car accident lawyers today.