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Analysis and Comment (25)

Helmet-free on Washington DC’s Captial Bikeshare. Helmet-free on Washington DC’s Captial Bikeshare. Ben Schumin

Hard Evidence: do bikeshare schemes lead to more head injuries among cyclists?

Public bikesharing schemes are sprouting up in towns and cities worldwide. The bikes are generally provided without helmets, and this has led to concerns regarding the risk of serious head injuries. It…
A 20-year-old man died in this accident in WA earlier this month when his Ford Falcon utility a tree. A 20-year-old man died in this accident in WA earlier this month when his Ford Falcon utility a tree. AAP/WA Police

A new approach to cut death toll of young people in road accidents

Too often in Australia we hear tragic stories of another young life cut short in a car accident and yet any attempts to dramatically reduce the death toll are not working. Young male drivers are our hardest…
Stuck in a traffic jam. Stuck in a traffic jam. Shaheer Shahid/Flickr

New road rules: when can motorcyclists beat the traffic?

Motorcyclists are about to get a green light to “filter” through traffic on New South Wales roads. But what does that mean, for them and others sharing the road? And what are the rules for motorcycles…
The use of rail for freight can save lives. The use of rail for freight can save lives. NSW Govt/AAP

Too many loads on our roads when rail is the answer

“Without trucks, Australia stops” is now a fact of modern life. But when all costs are considered, road freight is an expensive way of moving large amounts of freight. And, as shown by ongoing fatal crashes…
Licensing authorities place the onus on drivers to report any medical conditions that might affect their driving. Licensing authorities place the onus on drivers to report any medical conditions that might affect their driving. Image from shutterstock.com

Doctors shouldn’t be forced to dob in unfit drivers

Few states mandate that doctors or other health professionals must report unfit drivers to licensing authorities – and for good reason. Driving is an everyday practice for many Australians, but that doesn’t…
A cyclist “die-in” protest outside the offices of Transport for London to protest. A cyclist “die-in” protest outside the offices of Transport for London to protest. Dominic Lipinski/PA

Never mind investment – we can improve cycle safety now

Much has been said in recent weeks about the death toll of cyclists in London. Yet the only immediate response media coverage seems to have produced is police on street corners handing out tickets to cyclists…
A ban on any mobile phone use while driving should be standard for young drivers – but should it extend to all motorists? A ban on any mobile phone use while driving should be standard for young drivers – but should it extend to all motorists? Image from shutterstock.com

Is it time to ban hands-free mobile phones while driving?

If you find it hard to put your mobile phone away, you’re not alone – young adults check their mobile phones around 60 times a day. Worryingly, drivers continue to use mobile phones despite the evidence…
A ‘ghost bike’ at notorious Bow flyover in East London. A ‘ghost bike’ at notorious Bow flyover in East London. Dominic Lipinski/PA

There are solutions to these needless cyclist deaths

It has been a grim month for cycling in London. Just days ago newspapers wrote of five deaths in nine days, and barely is the ink dry before yet another death this morning makes six in under two weeks…
Cycling needs investment and ideas to avoid costly accidents. Cycling needs investment and ideas to avoid costly accidents. Ian West/PA

Fork in the road as Danish and Dutch-style cycle routes spread

Bristol will be the first British city to “go Dutch” after the city council gave the green light to building a European-style cycle network that would not be shared with road traffic. The city’s plans…
We’ve got to stop seeing paint on the road as adequate for cyclists. We’ve got to stop seeing paint on the road as adequate for cyclists. Flickr/crosby_cj

Ride to work? You’ll need a bike barrier for that

Between 1% and 3% of Australian commuters are out on the roads today proving cycling is often the fastest transport choice in Australian cities. Why don’t more people join them? It is not for a lack of…
New P2P cameras, which calculate average speed, avoid fines for momentary lapses of concentration. New P2P cameras, which calculate average speed, avoid fines for momentary lapses of concentration. Brooks was here

Point-to-point cameras: better than average at nabbing speeders

Speed cameras - love them or (more likely) hate them, they’re here to stay. And as with most technologies, there is room for improvement - highlighted most recently when Wheels magazine sponsored a journalist…
Concentrating on texting when UR driving isn’t GR8. Concentrating on texting when UR driving isn’t GR8. Flickr

The perils of multitasking

The dangers of texting while driving recently received renewed attention thanks to a public service documentary produced by German film director Werner Herzog. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration…
Aftermath of the rail accident in northern Spain. Aftermath of the rail accident in northern Spain. Wikimedia Commons

Planes, trains and automobiles: the reality of transport risk

Recent days have seen a string of terrible road and rail accidents: train crashes in France, Spain and Switzerland, a coach crash in Italy and, without the same international publicity, the usual steady…
Is this our transport future? If the regulatory and safety issues are ironed out, many more of us could be boarding personal mobility devices for short commutes. Is this our transport future? If the regulatory and safety issues are ironed out, many more of us could be boarding personal mobility devices for short commutes. Nelson Pavlosky

Electric unicycles, minifarthings and the future of urban transport

Whether we like it or not, there is a pecking order on the road. At the top, either high performance sports cars or the massive B-double freight trucks reign supreme. On the lower rungs, pedestrians and…
About 75% of the kilometres driven in rural Australia are on undivided roads. About 75% of the kilometres driven in rural Australia are on undivided roads. palo/Flickr

Reducing the rural road toll is a matter of time

More than half of the road fatalities in Australia occur on rural roads, and the greatest investment we can make to mitigate this is reducing speed limits on many of these roads. Indeed, fatal crashes…
Cycling in regional areas is not quite the paradise you see in tourism brochures. Cycling in regional areas is not quite the paradise you see in tourism brochures. Image from shutterstock.com

Improving cyclist safety in regional areas: a case study

Images that promote cycling in regional Victoria are often beautiful and enticing: smiling, happy people ride along scenic bike paths that meander through wide, open farmlands, dense bushland and along…
A squirrel glider crosses a rope bridge over the Hume Freeway. A squirrel glider crosses a rope bridge over the Hume Freeway. Kylie Soanes

Mysterious poles make road crossing easier for high flying mammals

Wildlife can have a tough time crossing roads. Noisy, fast vehicles and wide, open gaps in habitat make it an uninviting and risky venture. This means some animals are cut off from food, shelter or loving…
Health and transport authorities should focus on helping older drivers to drive safely for longer. Health and transport authorities should focus on helping older drivers to drive safely for longer. Older driver image from shutterstock.com

Getting older drivers off the road won’t solve safety problems

When an older driver has a crash with tragic consequences, there are calls for stricter licensing controls to detect “unfit” drivers and take their licences away, typically focusing on those aged 75 or…
The aim of drink-driving reform is not to reduce drinking, but to disconnect drinking from driving. The aim of drink-driving reform is not to reduce drinking, but to disconnect drinking from driving. Flickr/M a r k

Why it’s time to lower Australia’s blood alcohol driving limit

Around one quarter of deaths on Australia’s roads involve drink-driving. Over a decade, this amounts to over 3,500 deaths, as well as many thousands of serious injuries. While the most common death in…
Care and consideration make the road safer for everyone. Enforcing the law helps too. Care and consideration make the road safer for everyone. Enforcing the law helps too. Fernando de Sousa

Want safer cycling? Don’t dismiss dooring

Every year, more Australians - particularly in cities - are riding to work. More cyclists means fewer cars on the road, less congestion, less pollution and fewer health problems. But every year more people…
A recent NZ study which claimed helmet laws caused 53 deaths a year is flawed. A recent NZ study which claimed helmet laws caused 53 deaths a year is flawed. Danielle Scott

Don’t blame mandatory helmets for cyclist deaths in New Zealand

An article published in the current edition of the New Zealand Medical Journal calls for the repeal of mandatory helmet laws (MHL) for cyclists because it claims the law caused 53 premature deaths per…
The Pacific Highway has a long history of fatal truck accidents. The Pacific Highway has a long history of fatal truck accidents. AAP

Shifting freight to rail could make the Pacific Highway safer

Articulated trucks such as semi-trailers and “B-Doubles” are involved in about 30% of fatal road accidents on the Pacific Highway. As the number of trucks carrying freight between Sydney and Brisbane increases…
It needs to be easier for cyclists to safely navigate our busy city streets. It needs to be easier for cyclists to safely navigate our busy city streets. H4NUM4N

Helmet-cam captures bike accidents (and could make cycling safer)

CYCLING IN AUSTRALIA: Every year, dozens of cyclists are killed and thousands are injured while riding on Australian roads. Statistics such as these, coupled with all-too-frequent horror stories about…
Speed cameras save lives. Speed cameras save lives. AAP

Slow down on speed camera hysteria

The Auditor General’s review of speed cameras is a good effort in identifying the safety value of speed cameras in NSW. This is not the first time the NSW speed cameras have been reviewed. As presented…

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Research Briefs (5)