Cyclists and motorcyclists need to take care out there

17th July 2017 5:30 AM
A Ghost Bike has been erected as a memorial to Hans Nico Battaerd who was killed in November 2016 while cycling home from a training ride with the Ballina Masters Cycling Club. CYCLIST FATALITY: A Ghost Bike was erected as a memorial to Hans Nico Battaerd who was killed in November 2016 while cycling home from a training ride with the Ballina Masters Cycling Club. Two riders have been killed on the Northern Rivers in the past nine months. Alison Paterson

WILDLIFE, poor roads, weather, road rage and human error, all these issues can cause accidents for road users and result in minor injuries at best and a fatality at worst.

When it comes to our most vulnerable road users, there's no doubt cyclists and motorcyclists top the list.

According to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, across NSW in the past 13 months, there's been six cycling fatalities, including two on the Northern Rivers, while there have been hundreds of non-fatal injuries ranging from minor grazes and bumps through to cracked shoulders, broken limbs and severe head injuries.

The recent tragic deaths of cyclists Col Hadwell and Hans Battaerd have brought a spotlight on the issue.

The DIRD report revealed across Australia, cyclists comprise 3% of all road fatalities and 15% of all road hospitalisations and 85% of reported cyclist casualty crashes involve another vehicle.

Motorcyclists also face a grim reality, as they are 30 times morel likely to killed in a vehicle accident than motor car driver.

Each year around 200 deaths nationally involve motorcycle drivers and pillion passengers, and the NSW Centre for Road Safety reported one fatality during 2016 in the Northern Rivers.

The Australian Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (2008) report stated it is estimated for each motorcycle or bicycle fatality in Australia, the cost to the community is close to $2.4 million per person, and substantially more for brain-injured persons

To combat this worrying trend, the Byron Bay Cycle Club is hosting a free cycling safety workshop on August 5 at1pm at the Cavanbah Sports Centre in Byron Bay.

Event organiser Deborah Fuller said one of presenters is Jay Carney who has 44 years of experience in the cycling industry.

"Jay will provide advice on how to ride to different types of road conditions, how best to deal with traffic and road works, understand the NSW government road rules for cyclists and how to get out of trouble if you experience a mechanical failure on the road,” she said.

"The project has received financial assistance from Byron Shire Council and is open to all members of the community.”

For further information and to book a place contact Ms Fuller at info@byronbaycycleclub.org.au or call 0401 306 818.