In the first decade of this century, 31 cyclists were killed in WA road traffic crashes. Another 1022 were seriously injured.
Last year, four people were killed and 101 seriously injured.
Most of the victims were men. Most of the serious accidents were on a Tuesday, often between 6pm and 9pm.
The statistics are stark and brutal. It is little wonder that, despite more West Australians riding bikes than ever before, consistent surveys show that safety - and the threat of being in an accident - is the biggest barrier for potential cyclists.
It is easy to see why. When a bicycle is involved in a crash, the cyclist is almost always the one killed or seriously injured.
But Office of Road Safety executive director Iain Cameron said authorities needed to convince cyclists they could use WA roads knowing they were safe.
Mr Cameron said a task force - with representatives from his office, the RAC, industry professionals and relevant agencies - had been set up to help cut the number of crashes involving cyclists.
The group, which had its first forum in May last year, had already identified a number of strategies and initiatives that were now being investigated. These covered cycling safety skills, training and education, equipment, infrastructure and travel speeds.
New studies suggest that improved bicycle infrastructure - particularly bike paths that separate cyclists from other road users - can have a significant impact on reducing serious bike accidents.
Last week, a study of NSW hospital admissions over the past 20 years found a clear link between a fall in cycle-related head injuries and mandatory helmet laws and improved cycling infrastructure, notably bike paths.
"Intuitively, we all know that segregating cyclists from cars, trucks and buses through cycling infrastructure makes collisions less likely," the study team, led by Jake Olivier from the University of NSW's School of Mathematics, said. "There's no doubt now that greater spending on cycling infrastructure and mandatory helmets have jointly delivered major benefits on two fronts - fewer cycling injuries, particularly head injuries, and more people enjoying the health benefits of safe cycling.
"Surely it would be irresponsible to do anything but continue down the path of making cycling safer. Keeping helmets and building more cycleways is unquestionably the way to go."
While compulsory helmet laws are a point of controversy, few cycling advocates disagree with the value of dedicated cycle paths.
The Barnett Government increased funding for bike paths in the last State Budget and already it is beginning to bear fruit.
The recently opened $2.6 million Bayswater to Bassendean path along Guildford Road recorded a 61 per cent rise in cyclist usage in the first full month of operation. And no serious injuries.
But there are still calls for even more expenditure.
The Greens, in their soon-to-be-released cycling strategy, believe 3 per cent of the State Government's transport budget, or $64.2 million, should be spent on cycling infrastructure.
Their objective is to deliver 6600km of safe - often separated - bike lanes by 2029.
They argue that new paths should be built to connect gaps in existing cycling networks, to connect neighbourhoods with major destinations and to provide safe routes to schools, train stations and major employment hubs.
Local academics say the best paths are those used in Copenhagen in Denmark, with a barrier between the cyclist and motorist. Copenhagen bike paths consist of an asphalted lane exclusively for cyclists. They can be two-way or on each side of the road and are usually wide enough for overtaking.Billie Giles-Corti, director of the University of WA's Centre for the Built Environment and Health, said recently that the two-way Copenhagen-style paths protected cyclists from cars and ensured that cyclists were not in conflict with pedestrians.
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