Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cycling Ride2School Unhealthy Unsafe without Risk Reduction

Bicycle Victoria/ Bicycle Network Victoria's advocacy/ promotion of cycling 

is centred on participation. 

Bicycle Victoria takes a cavalier, sloganistic approach to risk of death and serious injury 

by claiming that the reputed health benefits of

any kind of cycling more often

far outweigh the risks of death and serious injury.

This is just plain untrue. 

If cyclists do not engage in risk reduction, 

do not take a legally required duty of care/ responsibility for their own safety, 

they are much more likely to be killed and seriously injured.

Therefore the promotion of cycling by Bicycle Victoria and the Cycling Promotion Fund 

would certainly appear to have Public Liability issues.

Indeed to lower the standard for road usage 

to simply one of participation or "on yer bike"

is to promote cycling in such a way that cyclists are much more likely to be killed and seriously injured.

It is time we, as a society, realised 

that the kind of cycling behaviour,

the kind of cycling culture that we foster 

is much more important than the participation rate.

It is important that Parents and cyclists be able to make 

an informed choice before taking up cycling 

as well as responsible choices in their road usage. 

It is also worth noting the prevalence of bike fall hospitalisations.

Bicycle Victoria's Report into Cycle Deaths in Victoria (2002) states:

  • Around 80% of all cyclist hospitalisations are for crashes that do not involve motor vehicles.

  • All the cyclists who have a crash ‘all by themselves’, called bicycle alone or single vehicle crashes. 
  • These account for around 80% of all hospitalisations. (The police data include DCA 174 ‘out of control on carriageway’. 
  • Police would not be called to a similar crash on a bike path.)

Pete Dowe
Road Safety Advocate

March 21st 2013

Pedal Safely

BICYCLE VICTORIA’S website states that “the Ride2School program is a behaviour change program 

which aims to increase the number of students walking and riding to school”
Bicycle Victoria claims (based on a Danish mortality study) that:

“The health benefits of cycling such as a more active lifestyle and better fitness far outweigh the risks of death or injury from crashes. [i]This is especially true for responsible cyclists obeying the road rules...”

Especially? So irresponsible law-breaking cyclists are healthier too?

Bicycle Victoria’s Report into Cycle Deaths in Victoria (2002) found that the second highest cause of fatality and serious injury amongst cyclists 

was that almost one in five fatal cycle crashes (16%) involved a cyclist usually young, riding off a footpath or driveway onto the road.

This type of crash also accounts for 18.2% of all cycle crashes.

Yet how often do we see school kids (or adults) do this?

Is bike education penetrating? And are “behaviour change” cycling programs such as Ride2School and Ride2Work really about generational change and/ or behaviour modification?

Bicycle Victoria’s stated purpose is simply to get “more people cycling more often”

Pete Dowe
Road Safety Advocate

Mordialloc Chelsea Leader

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