Queensland

Warning to Queensland motorists ahead of cycling danger period

Emergency doctors are pleading with motorists ahead of what is traditionally one of the most dangerous times to be a cyclist in Queensland.

More than 130 riders have died on the state's roads in the past 15 years, more than in any other state except New South Wales.

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Bicycle Queensland chief executive Ben Wilson said there didn't appear to be a huge difference between drivers from Queensland and other states but roads were a problem.

"We probably have some of the worst roads in the nation because they're narrow and we're fitting a lot of traffic into them," he said.

"So it just raises the needs for more separated bikeways and a better bikeway network."

The cycling advocate joined with Lady Cilento Children's Hospital emergency doctor Daniel Bodnar on Tuesday to call on motorists to be extra vigilant as they returned from "holiday mode" to the school run or work next week.

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Dr Bodnar had to patch up riders coming into the emergency department with everything from the most common scrapes and busted collar bones to severe head injuries.

"Cyclists are approximately one per cent of daily commutes but account for about 20 per cent of the road traffic admissions to hospital," the Emergency Medicine Foundation spokesman said.

"Kids less than 16 account for about 30 per cent of all bicycle-related accidents, according to police."

More than 200,000 Brisbane residents rode their bikes weekly, according to Bicycle Queensland, and daily commuter numbers were jumping 8 per cent every year.

Mr Wilson rejected the perennial suggestion cyclists should be registered to make bad riders more accountable but he admitted motorists weren't always to blame.

"It can be the bike rider's own fault," Mr Wilson said.

"Sixty per cent of bike falls are actually the bike rider making a mistake with their own cycling without a vehicle involved but, on the other hand, the consequences of a collision with a motor vehicle are severe and that's what we'd both like to see eliminated.

"Probably the greatest accountability for a bike rider is, if they come off they get hurt. There is no second-guessing that one."

Dr Bodnar said figures showed 95 per cent of crashes involving bicycles happened in peak periods, between 6-9am and 3-6pm, which were only going to become busier as people returned to the roads.

"The biggest key is that all road users have respect for each other," Dr Bodnar said.

"Roads are crowded, we are seeing increasing bike numbers, as well as car numbers."

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said he expected cycling infrastructure to be a "front and centre issue" during the coming council election campaign, but not necessarily at the expense of other modes of transport.

"We've made significant investments in cycleways and we continue to be committed to them," he said.

"That's why we're building an off-road cycleway along (Kingsford Smith Drive).

"If you look at commitments, the former administration was spending $25 million a term on bikeways.

"We've upped that ante to $120 million a term now."

Cr Quirk conceded parts of the network still required work and said the council would continue to work with cycling groups on its priorities.

"It can't all be done at once," he said.

"There is a lot of work to be done on bikeways, as there is the public transport network, as there is the road network."

With Cameron Atfield

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