Fewer cyclists have suffered serious injury on central Victorian roads in the past 12 months than the previous year but two have lost their lives, with police highlighting some of the concerning and potentially life-threatening behaviours they continue to witness.
Emma Kent, 24, told police she was distracted for about 10 seconds while connecting her phone’s Bluetooth to the car’s audio when she struck 57-year-old Gareth Davies on Black Forest Drive, Macedon, last December.
Bendigo Highway Patrol’s Leading Senior Constable Peter Dyer said distraction was among the issues of concern.
“The bottom line is, you need to be concentrating 100 per cent when you’re driving,” he said.
Failing to give way was a common issue, Leading Senior Constable Dyer said, with motorists pulling out in front of cyclists who were “very visible”.
“You’ve got to look more than once,” he said.
People driving too close was another complaint of cyclists, he said – sometimes in cases where motorists did so intentionally, risking seriously injuring or killing another.
Leading Senior Constable Dyer reminded road users cyclists were entitled to use the lane where there was no specific cycling lane.
“I think it just comes down to courtesy - patience and courtesy on the roads,” Leading Senior Constable Dyer said.
But police concerns do not lie only with motorists.
Highway Patrol’s Sergeant Geoff Annand said cyclists continued to practise some worrying behaviours on the roads.
He said these included riding without a helmet, riding without lights when necessary, using a mobile phone while riding, travelling more than two abreast, and riding in bunches at dawn and dusk.
Claims data from the Transport Accident Commission indicates there have been two cyclists hospitalised as a result of road trauma in the past year.
There was a significant drop in the number of serious injury crashes from the previous 12 months, when 12 cyclists were hospitalised for crashes – one for more than two weeks.
But there were no cyclist fatalities recorded in that earlier period.
Victoria Police figures show 183 people have died on Victoria’s roads since January 1, 2018.
This is a drop from the same time last year, when 216 people had lost their lives as a result of road trauma.
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