The Department of Infrastructure and Transport’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics publishes monthly, a summary report on road deaths in Australia. This issue is dated May 2013. The full summary report is available from my Dropbox. My interest here is the outcomes for cyclists.
Part of my regular commute northbound to Joondalup involves my riding through the intersection of Oceanside Promenade and Ocean Reef Road, Mullaoo. The approach to this roundabout for northbound cyclists is via a rather wide approach which makes “claiming the lane” more difficult. In some ways I have been “lucky” at this roundabout as I turn left on Ocean Reef Road however if I was going right I suspect that on some days I wouldn’t be so “lucky.”
I was out again on my bicycle on a bit of a training ride south of Fremantle on Tuesday June 11, 2013. All up a rather bland ride, road safety wise, which is something I really appreciate. That said I did see a Gronbek Security employee not being too smart, using his mobile phone while undertaking a right turn through an intersection.
As a vulnerable road user I have had my fair share of scary experiences with motorists distracted through their use of mobile phones. The distraction levels are considered such a risk that the use of mobile phones in the manner observed is considered an offence under the Western Australian Road Traffic Code 2000, regulation 265. An offence which I believe carries a fine of five penalty points, i.e., $250 and the loss of three demerits.
I was riding south on Cockburn Road, Coogee approaching the intersection with Amity Boulevard on the morning of Monday June 10, 2013 at about 7:40 AM when I experienced an unnecessary close pass at speed (the limit here is 70 km/h) by a
Centurion semi-trailer with Centurion decals (see response from Centurion below for the explanation). Reviewing the video it seems the driver didn’t even make an effort to move over to his or her right to provide safe passing clearance!
The Department of Infrastructure and Transport has published Road Deaths Australia 2012 Statistical Summary. The report presents annual counts and rates for fatal road crashes and fatalities Australia wide for the past 10 years including 2012. My interest is in looking at where we are at here in Western Australia in respect to cyclists and hence this post extracts that data where possible. If you are interested in data from other states or for other road user groups please refer to the original report. A similar summary of the Road Deaths Australia 2011 Statistical Summary is also available.
The Department of Infrastructure and Transport’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics publishes monthly, a summary report on road deaths in Australia. This issue is dated March 2013. The full summary report is available from my Dropbox. My interest here is the outcomes for cyclists.
The Centre for Automotive Safety Research at the University of Adelaide has recently published a descriptive report looking at the circumstances surrounding crash involvement for a group of 61 bicycle riders involved in a collision with a motorised vehicle who were admitted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital over the period between January 1 2008 and December 31 2010.
This descriptive study provides some insight into cyclists and motor vehicle interaction and adds to growing literature on the subject.
What we can take away from this study is that motorists are at fault in most crashes (79%), intersections are the most dangerous place for cyclists, and we need as cyclists to have heightened awareness within five kilometres of home.
Issues that arise in discussions within the cycling community and the general community such as close passing, an issue that the WA Police will not enforce and an issue that the RAC of WA will not support stronger legislation on was a cause in 11% of cases. The hot topic of red light jumping was not a cause of any note, only applied to one case or 1% of the cases and the other hot topics of the use of audio devices and the failure to not use lights had no influence in the reported cases.
Often when the subject of cycling comes up over the dinner table the subject of cyclists running lights is soon raised. I often find this rather amusing as last time I checked I thought we had red light cameras in place; you know those expensive fancy cameras to capture evil cyclists running red lights right? Nope, sorry they are there because of you and me as motorists. Yep it is our driving which puts others at serious risk of injury or worse death, not because a cyclist runs a red light. An issue that is so bad we have to have cameras in place and in my experience not enough cameras given the new world view that “orange is green.” So maybe it is time for some reflection before we blame those evil cyclists yet again.
All that said, researchers at the Monash University Accident Research Centre have undertaken research to shed some insights into cyclists’ decisions to run red lights and have a published a paper sharing their findings.
This dude was so close to be taken out on this corner. He was coming in fast, way to fast for a corner which has low visibility and at “peak cycling hour.” No apology, no acknowledgement. I guess that is too much to ask for.
He was (and I was) lucky I was not riding like he was, had I been it would have hurt.
Thankfully I was well and truly on the brakes and was expecting him to turn “wider” and I was ready for that; I just was not expecting the cutting in on the corner so he came in closer than I was anticipating. You will notice in the slo-mo that I was just at the end of the white dividing line and actually had to swing to my left to avoid him.
The incident occurred around 5:30 to 6:00 PM if I recall correctly on Wednesday March 13, 2013 on the southern end of the Freeway overpass bridge which connects Telford Crescent, Stirling with King Edward Road, Osborne Park. On the northern side of the bridge is the northern suburbs principal shared path (PSP) so it is the northern cycling freeway so to speak so one should be aware that cyclists are going to be about in some numbers at this time of the day.