Foundation's safer cycling advocacy praised
16 July 2015
I commend the Amy Gillett Foundation for its efforts to make cycling safer in Australia.
10 years ago, on 18 July 2005, Australian cycling champion Amy Gillett was killed while cycling in Germany with our national team. This tragic event inspired the Amy Gillett Foundation's vision to eliminate all cycling fatalities.
I congratulate the Amy Gillett Foundation on the success of its ‘a metre matters’ campaign, which is changing community attitudes and persuaded governments to deliver legislative reform.
Queensland is undertaking a trial of new rules on passing distances, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory have committed to applying similar rules, and Tasmania has made a rule change allowing motorists to cross centre lines to overtake cyclists.
In my own electorate, Amy Gillett's death has also been honoured with a dedicated bikeway in the Adelaide Hills.
The report Road Trauma Australia: 2014 Statistical Summary and Info Sheet 71 Australian cycling safety, released today by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics shows a strong downward trend in road fatalities generally, alongside relatively poor outcomes for Australian cyclists and other vulnerable road users.
In 2014, Australia achieved the lowest rate of road deaths on record since national statistics began in 1925—a significant milestone considering the number of vehicles on our roads has increased from 300,000 to over 17.6 million in that time.
However, these positive outcomes have not been shared by Australian cyclists. In 2014 there were 45 cyclist deaths due to road crashes, representing an average increase of 1.4 per cent over the past ten years and highlighting the need to prioritise cyclist safety.
That's why the Australian Government is working with the states and territories through the National Road Safety Action Plan 2015–17 to deliver specific reforms that will make our roads safer for all road users, particularly vulnerable road users.
The Australian Government is also contributing through our record investment in road infrastructure across Australia, which incorporates dedicated cycling infrastructure.
Ultimately, it is every Australian's responsibility to share our roads with respect. I applaud the Foundation for promoting this message and for making our roads safer for all Australians.
The BITRE reports are available online at www.bitre.gov.au.