I was wary late last year that reporting of the annual road toll would mask an alarming increase in cyclist deaths nationally.
The provisional road toll in Victoria was down, and that’s great. And given the level of traffic offences, a result hard won on many fronts.
But as mentioned New Year’s Day, it’s better than lousy if you consider that ‘the road toll’ is nearly 1200 people a year nationally (in a ‘good’ year) and it seems to raise little community angst. There’s usually more noise about being caught by speed cameras.
The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics has just released the December numbers so we now have an official result for 2013 Australia wide. The total and trend are both down nationally – except for cyclists. After a bad year in NSW and Queensland and a bad December, 50 cyclists died on the roads in 2013 – up 51.5 per cent. Condolences to all involved.
There’s still fewer cyclists in the road toll than any other type of road user so it remains a great way to get around, smell the roses and work off sedentary lives. I can’t think of a single ride I’ve regretted.
But let’s hope we see some noise about this result, to help make 2014 better.