Enforcement + Road Safety
Road traffic injuries place a significant burden on the Australian community. This impact is felt at the social, economic and public health level. The creation of a safer road traffic environment will benefit all members of the community. Shifting unnecessary motor vehicle trips to bicycle journeys holds significant road safety benefits. Improving perceived and actual levels of rider safety will encourage greater cycle participation.
This section outlines the various road rules, with a particular emphasis on their application to cycling as well as some of the solutions to improved road safety outcomes.
The Effectiveness of Helmets in Reducing Head Injuries and Hospital Treatment Costs: A Multicentre Study (AUS)
06th May 2013
This study published in the Medical Journal of Australia on the 13 May 2013, reports on the relationship between helmet use and head injury severity. The data was taken from hospitals in metropolitan sydney and involved a retrospective cohort of both pedal cyclists and motorcyclists. It found that patients identified with severe head injury, inhospital costs (AUD) were around three times higher in non-helmeted patients (median, $72 000) compared with helmeted patients (median, $24 000).
2011 Bicyclists & Other Cyclists Traffic Safety Fact Sheet (USA)
29th Apr 2013
The U.S. National Traffic Safety Highway Administration has released a fact sheet that details the numbers of cyclists killed and injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2011.
Bicyclists overestimate their own night-time conspicuity and underestimate the benefits of retroreflective markers on the moveable joints
05th Mar 2013
This experiment quantified bicyclists’ estimates of the distance at which approaching drivers would first recognise them. Published in the journal, Accident Analysis & Prevention, in March 2013, found that bicyclists overestimated their conspicuity compared to previously collected recognition distances and underestimated the conspicuity benefits of retroreflective markings on their ankles and knees. Participants mistakenly judged that a fluorescent vest that did not include retroreflective material would enhance their night-time conspicuity.
Setting local speed limits circular and speed limit appraisal tool (UK)
19th Feb 2013
In January 2013, the UK Government published new guidelines to help local authorities implement 20mph speed limits and zones. At the same time the government published an online toolkit that will enable local councils to calculate the potential costs and benefits of implementing new speed limits.
On-road bicycle facilities and bicycle crashes in Iowa, 2007–2010 (USA)
19th Feb 2013
This reserach, published in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention in January 2013, examined the impact of on-road bicycle facilities on crash risk. The results suggest that intersections with an on-road bicycle facility are more protective against crashes than those without, that bicycle-specific pavement markings are more protective against crashes than bicycle signage and that increased street width increases the risk of a bicycle-motor vehicle crash.
Cyclist Activated Warning Signs - VicRoads Trial (Australia)
08th Feb 2013
In January 2013 VicRoads switched on a new trial technology at the intersection of Nepean Highway and McDonald Street, Mordialloc which aims to improve the safety of cyclists. The new bike detection and cyclist activated warning signage is expected to increase driver awareness of cyclists as they exit a busy intersection.
Injured Cyclist Profile: An in-depth South Australian study (Australia)
15th Jan 2013
This project examined 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 between January 1 2008 and December 31 2010. Medical records, police crash data, and forensic data related to mandatory testing for alcohol and drugs were collected for the research. The report was published by the University of Adelaide's Centre for Automotive Safety in January 2013.
The conspicuity of South Australian cyclists: Implications for safety (Australia)
15th Jan 2013
The research report was published by the University of Adelaide's Centre for Automotive Safety in January 2013. The research sought to determine the level of conspicuity of commuting cyclists in the morning and afternoon in Adelaide's CBD. The researchers found that while 38% of observed riders were visible from the front, only 18% were visible from the back, somewhat due to the use of backpacks.
Review of Cycling Safety Policies in the European Union (EU)
09th Jan 2013
In December 2012 the European Transport Safety Council released a report detailing best practices for facilitating cycling on roadways in a variety of European Union cities. It investigates policy, infrastructure, vehicle design and road user behaviour interventions and makes a series of recommendations to the EU and its members states.
Evaluation of the C-roundabout – an improved multi-lane roundabout design for cyclists (New Zealand)
09th Jan 2013
In December 2012 the NZ Transport Agency published a report evaluating the on-site operation of the C-roundabout design at a site in Auckland, New Zealand. The primary aim of the C-roundabout is to improve the safety of cyclists at multi-lane roundabouts and make multi-lane roundabouts more cyclist-friendly. The concept of the design is to decrease vehicle speeds through the roundabout to around 30 km/hr by increasing the deflection of the roundabout, and to reduce the widths of approach lanes and circulating lanes so that cyclists are required to travel in the centre of the lanes, like other vehicles.