Concerns for Cyclist Safety Along Melbourne’s Busiest Roads

The TAC encourages all cyclists who have been injured in a road accident to lodge a TAC claim as concerns for cyclist safety come to a head. A recent report reveals the number of road accidents involving cyclists is staggeringly high, particularly along one of Melbourne’s busiest roads for bike traffic.

The inner-northern thoroughfare Sydney Road, popular for bike commuters, is also one of the most dangerous in Melbourne. As one of the only main roads running north to south in Brunswick, Sydney Road is a primary route for motor vehicles, trams and cyclists alike. Yet as a single-lane road, motor vehicles, trams and cyclists must all share the busy road together. The road also has on-street parking running both ways, meaning cyclists must be on high alert for doors opening from parked cars, on top of watching out for moving vehicles and trams.

The report finds that a staggering 1 in 5 cyclists have been involved in or have witnessed a road accident involving cyclists, while 2 out of 5 cyclists have been involved in or experienced ‘dooring’ from cars on the congested Sydney Road. On top of this, 4 out of 5 cyclists say that riding along Sydney Road makes them feel “unsafe” or “very unsafe”.

In an effort to reduce the number of road accidents involving cyclists, the TAC has launched a new campaign ‘Towards Zero’, which includes $100 million investment towards improved infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians. The TAC will work with the Victorian Government to create new, dedicated bike paths as well as filling the gaps in existing bicycle routes and networks

In 2015, cyclist Alberto Paulon was traveling on his bike along Sydney Road when a parked car opened its door, knocking Alberto onto the road and under a truck. With the recent statistics highlighting that ‘dooring’ is still prevalent, more must be done to protect cyclists from road accidents on Sydney Road. Now, more than 5 years since Alberto’s death and still without physical bike lanes in place, VicRoads has published 5 possible designs for bike lanes on Sydney Road to run between Bell Street in Coburg and Park Street in Brunswick.  The designs look at how the road can be improved for “residents, traders and the thousands of motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and trams that travel along the busy corridor each day" says VicRoads’ regional director Fatimah Mohamed. The designs vary from adding cyclist lanes and elevated tram stops, to extended footpaths and removing on-street parking. Some designs retain on-street parking outside of peak traffic times, meaning that permanent and protected bike lanes are not necessarily guaranteed.

However, the cycling trend is here to stay – City of Melbourne reports that Melbournians are using bikes more than ever before as an affordable, efficient and sustainable way to get around. Protective measures need to be a top priority to reduce the number of road accidents with cyclists in the future.

While a 10-year transport plan is in the works to make Melbourne Australia’s most bike-friendly city, Bicycle Network chief executive Craig Richards says Melbourne could be at risk of losing its “bike capital” title by failing to implement proper cyclist lanes on Sydney Road for the 900 cyclists that travel along it each day.

Are you a cyclist that has been in an accident?

Cyclists injured in a road accident are encouraged to contact the TAC and lodge a claim. Cyclists are entitled to benefits for their injuries arising directly out of a collision with a motor vehicle, train or tram, including vehicles that are stationary at the time of collision.

It is important that you lodge a claim strictly within 12 months from the date of your road accident. If your claim is lodged outside the 12-month period, the TAC has a discretion to consider your claim if it is lodged within 3 years.

Please follow our guide on the TAC claims process.

As with any complicated process, TAC claims can seem overwhelming. When you are already managing the stress and discomfort of an injury, you do not need additional financial and bureaucratic stresses potentially impeding your rest and recovery. Always seek clear and helpful legal advice if you believe that you need it. For us every case is personal and you come first. Contact Gordon Legal today on 1300 57 25 18 to speak with one of our friendly and experienced TAC lawyers.