News State NSW News NSW cyclist deaths double in two years

NSW cyclist deaths double in two years

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Cyclist deaths in NSW have more than doubled, with the state also the largest contributor to the national death toll in 2013.

Fifteen cyclists have been killed on NSW roads in 2013 – significantly up from seven cyclist deaths in 2012.

Nationwide, there have been 46 cyclist deaths in 2013, with more happening in NSW than any other state or territory, according to the Amy Gillett Foundation.

In the past few weeks alone, three cyclists have died in Sydney, including a man who hit a rock and was thrown from his bike in the city’s south.

The 44-year-old was riding with a group of cyclists at Kurnell on November 2.

A 40-year-old female cyclist died on Monday following a crash with a truck at St Peters. On October 30, a 45-year-old cyclist died after trying to avoid a crash at Turramurra.

The cyclist swerved to avoid colliding with one vehicle before losing control and colliding with another car.

Bicycle NSW chief executive Alex Unwin said the spate of deaths saddened the organisation.

“We are greatly saddened by the loss of these three members of the community and we offer our condolences to their loved ones,” he said in a statement.

Bicycles NSW has thrown its support behind a recently released Sydney City Access Strategy report, which includes completing the city network of bike paths.

Tracey Gaudry of the Amy Gillet Foundation, a charity advocating cyclist safety, said separating cars and bikes was ideal.

But in Sydney, it was a challenge.

“When you have a very highly built-up city like Sydney, it’s very hard to retrofit a network for separate road uses,” she told AAP.

Ms Gaudry said a safer environment needed to be provided for bike users, including lower speed zones in mixed road-user areas and greater awareness of the road rules.

Based on the foundation’s analysis of fatal cyclist crashes in 2013, half occurred while drivers were trying to overtake a cyclist.