Cyclists 'almost as likely' to injure pedestrians as cars

Jan 27, 2014

Once distance travelled is factored into accident statistics not much separates riders and drivers

CYCLISTS are creating "an army of walking wounded" says The Times, because riders are almost as likely as motorists to cause injury to pedestrians.

While cars kill five times more pedestrians than bicycles, a rather different picture emerges when "serious injuries are measured as a proportion of distance travelled", the paper says. Cyclists injured 21 pedestrians per billion km travelled in 2012 compared with 24 pedestrians injured by drivers.

The Times says cycling organisations acknowledge that cyclists who ride on pavements are a threat to the public, but point out that the number of serious accidents is relatively low.

Only about 20 pedestrians are "seriously injured" each year by riders taking to the pavement. Most collisions occur "when pedestrians step out into the road without seeing or hearing a cyclist", The Times says. 

Roger Geffen, policy director at CTC, the national cycling charity, agrees it is important not to "overstate" the level of conflict between riders and pedestrians. Collisions between riders and pedestrians would be reduced even further if the UK invested in "high-quality cycle tracks" that stopped cyclists and people on foot coming into contact, he said.

The Times readily acknowledges that cars are responsible for a far higher number of deaths and serious injuries "in absolute terms".

One pedestrian was killed by a cyclist and 78 were seriously injured in 2012. At the same time, 253 pedestrians were killed by drivers in urban areas and 4,426 were seriously injured.

Writing in The Guardian, Zoe Williams says pedestrians need to develop a sense of "self-righteousness" that equals that of cyclists.

"Pedestrians never object en masse; they don't self-identify as 'pedestrians' and they never say how outrageous it is how many of them die," she writes. "Cyclists are no more sinned against than pedestrians, and yet have a greater sense of outrage and more solidarity."

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I agree with the Times. Having been the victim of a very abusive, lycra wearing male who clearly believed that the law didn't apply to him; and that stopping at pedestrian crossings and traffic lights applied to motorists only! I was left extremely shaken and had a huge haematoma up my leg; as he was travelling head down at speed. Had i not been a fairly fit women in her 30s, not elderly or a child. I escaped with pain and shock. I reported the incident to the police who showed no interest at all !! Perhaps its about time rules and regulations were put into place to protect vulnerable pedestrians too! Maybe some sort of registration system for adult cyclists and fines for jumping lights and speeding along pavements !!

Grumpy girl, what happened to you is awful and I hope you've recovered fully. But we need to keep a sense of perspective here.
Every year in Britain HUNDREDS of people are killed by drivers. THOUSANDS more are injured - many of those are severe life altering injuries requiring the victim to live in care as they can no longer live independantly ususlly because of severe brain damage.
Cyclists, though there are isolated cases like yours, are not the menace on our roads. Drivers are.
98% of those killed on the PAVEMENT were killed by a driver in a car.
I'd like to see the police prioratise dangerous drivers, I'd like to see enfoecement of laws put in place to protect pedestrians and cyclists, and I'd like t see prosecution of those who flout the rules with sentences reflective of the carnage caused. At the minute this is just not happening.
As the old ciche goes, if you wantto kill someone, use your car - you'll get a fine and a few points on your lisence.

Cyclists must have safety checks on their bikes and insurance before they are allowed on the road,police
in Edinburgh occasionally do routine safety checks and over 75% of cycles checked fail,not to mention the complete ignorance of the highway code,nobody objects to cyclists but they must be safe , competent,and insured for liability.

when you start to obey the rules of the road(you know what they are) then you will be taken seriously full stop sjf.

What makes you think I don't obey the rules of the road? You've never met me.