Today’s release by the Medical Journal of Australia of a study led by Dr Ben Beck, at Monash University, showing a doubling of hospitalised major trauma for cyclists in the last nine years is the clearest warning yet that the choice to ride a bike must be safer for everyone.
Dr Beck discusses his findings in an article on the Conversation website here.
The Australian Cycling Promotion Foundation is alarmed that at a time when society is desperate for solutions to a tsunami of chronic disease fuelled by physical inactivity, more is not being done to make the choice to cycle for short trips easier and safer.
The Foundation’s Stephen Hodge said that the study results also come on the back of a statistically significant decrease in the level of cycling participation in Australia between 2011 and 2017.
Stephen talked to ABC Melbourne Radio's Dave O'Neill on the Morning Show today about what needs to be done in Australia for make cycling safer. The following comments are continued from the Foundation's media release.
“Many more Australians want to be more active and we know they would consider cycling for short trips if it were easier and safer.
“The MJA study calls for further investment in road safety and we agree, but the only way to achieve better outcomes is by focusing systematically on all elements for a better outcome.
“We also know this is already happening in some areas of our cities and towns with some state and local governments committed to making a difference with significant investment in appropriate infrastructure.
“But this decline in safety shows we need to do more to stop pedalling backwards.
“In line with international best practice evident in countries with much better safety records than Australia, we need a national approach which includes;
increased investment in safe, connected and well-designed separated infrastructure,
education of all road users,
reduced speed limits in residential areas and activity centres, and
a more positive legislative regime including adoption of mandatory passing distance across Australia that recognises more cycling is good for everyone,” Mr Hodge said.
More walking and cycling provides significant benefits for all Australians and the Foundation is committed to national collaborative efforts to achieve this.
We call on all Governments to invest to make cycling easier, safer and more attractive.
 The Australian Cycling Promotion Foundation was launched on 1st July 2017 as an independent not-for-profit foundation, building on nearly twenty years of national bicycle advocacy by the Cycling Promotion Fund. For more information visit www.cyclingpromotion.org.
 Australian Cycling Participation 2017, Austroads Report, June 2017, https://www.onlinepublications.austroads.com.au/items/AP-C91-17 accessed 10 September 2017.
 Riding a Bike for Transport – 2011 Survey Findings, Cycling Promotion Fund and Heart Foundation, 2011. https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/27b1f8_46ad1bb4addd41169a376c60b90c3fcc.pdf, accessed 10 September 2017.