Cycling gets safer as popularity increases

8 January 2016- Cycling advocates are welcoming news of more people cycling, and a fall in injuries.

Cycling Action Network spokesman Patrick Morgan says both numbers are moving in the right direction.

“Increases in cycling and a fall in injuries are consistent with the ‘safety in numbers’ effect. It appears that as more people cycle, it gets safer.

“More journeys made by bicycle eases congestion for those who need to drive.”

Auckland Transport records show a 20 percent increase in cycling in December 2015 compared to 2014. Census figures from Wellington show a 76 percent rise in people commuting by bike, from 2006-2013. In Christchurch during December, an average of 590 people cycled across the new Matai Street crossing into Hagley Park every weekday, up from 280 in September.

Mr Morgan says cycling is getting safer.

NZ Transport Agency road death statistics show six fatal crashes in 2015, down from 10 in 2014. Injury figures show a similar trend over the past five years. Serious crashes have dropped from 190 per year to 150, while minor crashes have fallen from 660 to 580.

“Cycling has impressive health benefits, which far outweigh the risks,” says Mr Morgan. “Cycling reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and depression. It’s great news that more people are discovering the simple pleasure and convenience of riding a bike.”

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