By Ilija Kljajevic
Cyclists are demanding urgent action after a new study by the Road Safety Commission shows an increase in injury and deaths among bike users on WA Roads over the past five years.
The study shows cyclists in Perth feel unsafe to be on the road because of the risk of accidents.
Up until 2016, 86% of these injuries and deaths involving cyclists have occurred in the Perth metropolitan area and 14% in country areas.
Cyclist David Murray, who is an academic at Murdoch University, said more awareness such as media campaigns and better infrastructure, like cycleways, need to happen to improve safety.
“More footpaths would be a good idea so that cyclists can have a choice between the path and the road,” he said.
Professor Murray said this issue is personal because of one his colleagues, climate change scientist Thomas Lyons, suffered a life-threatening injury from a driver who hit him causing him to fall on the ground.
Professor Murray said drivers need to pay more attention on the road and not what is happening in their car or on their phones.
“We have to share the road and look after each other on it,” he said.
Former cyclist Andrew Martin, from Cannington, said he wants this issue handled properly before more people get seriously hurt or die.
“I have had seven injuries from being hit by a car. Most have been in Perth and some in Europe,” he said.
Mr Martin said he has broken his ribs and his kneecaps from getting hit by a car on the road.
“Most of these accidents occur during the morning and evening and I believe the drivers need to understand that their car is like a weapon. One hit can hurt a cyclist and change their life,” he said.