Cyclist injuries are at a record high in Australia and riders blame aggressive motorists
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Cyclist injuries in New South Wales are at an all-time high record, and riders say aggressive motorists are to blame.
According to Transport for NSW, 2330 cyclists were taken to hospital back in 2021, which is the highest number since 2005.
Cyclists now account for 23 per cent of road crash hospitalisations and are the only road user group to increase in injuries significantly.
According to Transport for NSW’s report, from 2005 to 2021, 173 cyclists were killed, and 29,464 were seriously injured on the roads.
NSW cyclist David Page told the Sydney Morning Herald that he had reported an incident to Crime Stoppers in January of a motorist threatening him on Bobbin Head Road in Turramurra, only to find out later it was never investigated.
He also revealed that he had been threatened by angry motorists a dozen times.
One incident led a bystander to call police after witnessing a motorist drive aggressively towards Page.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Bicycle NSW chairman of advocacy John Hawkins said that most cyclist complaints to state police about aggressive driving are not investigated.
In the state, drivers must give riders at least one metre of space when passing them where the speed limit is 60km/h or less and at least 1.5 metres when the speed limit is over 60km/h.
However, Hawkins told the newspaper how hard it is to prove when drivers violate road rules, leading many off the hook.
He says police will rarely fine drivers as there is a ‘high evidentiary burden’.
He added: “Cops like easy targets. And cyclists, who tend to be law-abiding, don’t run away. In comparison, policing the source of the greatest harm to riders – poor driving – often seems like too much work.”
A study conducted by researchers at Macquarie University and St Vincent's Hospital revealed that delivery cyclists were 13 times more likely to get injured between 8pm to midnight.
“SafeWork NSW uses police and workers’ compensation records to identify injuries to food delivery riders, but our research shows that this data is substantially lower than the real number of cycling-related injuries,” said Macquarie University’s Dr Mitchell Sarkies, as per The Guardian.
Over a quarter of the riders working as independent contractors for huge food giants were not eligible for Medicare.
According to the outlet, Shadow Minister for the Gig Economy Daniel Mookhey said this ‘puts workers in very real danger of injury, abuse and harassment’.
Featured Image Credit: martin berry / Alamy Stock Photo. B.A.E. Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo
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