As more Western Australians have embraced cycling since the COVID-19 pandemic, a new survey has found most riders don’t feel safe when sharing the roads with motorists.
RAC’s Member Priorities Tracker has revealed 65 per cent of cyclists feel unsafe on our roads, while one in three drivers admit they don’t feel confident sharing the road with cyclists.
Only one in four respondents believed that roundabouts are safe for vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists.
RAC General Manager Public Policy and Mobility Anne Still said the results show that more attention needs to be paid to safety following a surge in the popularity of cycling as a result of COVID-19.
“Department of Transport data shows there was a huge uptake in cycling throughout COVID-19 restrictions – including a 130 per cent increase along the South Perth foreshore in April – and we want to see this continue across Perth,” Ms Still said.
“It’s been terrific to see so many Western Australians embracing two wheels for recreation and fitness, and following the easing of restrictions we’ve also seen more people riding to work, school or university, or to visit family and friends.
“However, long standing concerns over safety need to be addressed.
“A survey of our members revealed nearly two-thirds don’t feel safe as a cyclist when sharing the roads with motorists — that’s a huge majority who feel at-risk on a bike.
“With more cyclists taking to our paths and roads, it’s vital we all remember just how little protection they have in a crash.
“Please slow down, give way and allow a safe distance when passing cyclists — it only takes a split-second for a tragedy to occur.”
Another recent survey of RAC members revealed support for temporarily converting our road space to ‘pop-up bike lanes’ to cater for the recent popularity of cycling (44 per cent were supportive, 27 per cent neither supported nor opposed, and only 29 per cent opposed the idea).
“We need to encourage more people to ride for a range of purposes, including to work, especially at a time when public transport patronage is down and congestion has already risen above the levels we saw before COVID-19,” Ms Still said.
“We have a real opportunity to make sure Western Australians can keep cycling safely and conveniently, which means investing in infrastructure that supports a healthier and happier community in the long-run.”
For more information on RAC’s advocacy for cycling and walking in WA, including calling for safe and connected infrastructure and enhanced streets and places, visit our website.
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RAC Media Contact: Caitlin Barr, 0401 703 719 or email@example.com