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Cyclists Deaths are No Accident

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Oslo, the capital city of Norway has just recorded its first full year without a single cyclist or pedestrian fatality.

In contrast, pedestrian deaths in New York City were up from 203 to 219 in 2019 and cyclists deaths were up from 10 in 2018 to 28 in 2019, which is the highest level in 10 years.

In Australia for the 2017-18 financial year there were 177 pedestrian deaths and 45 cyclist deaths.

Of course, the populations of these three areas vary greatly, from approximately 650,000 for the City of Oslo to 8.4 million for the five boroughs of New York City (excluding outlying urban areas in both cases) to 25 million for Australia.

But if Oslo were NYC then based upon this data, pro rata it would expect 17 pedestrian deaths and two cyclist deaths. If it were Australia then pro rata it would expect five pedestrian deaths and one cyclist death.

So what has Olso been doing? Many things to make cycling and walking safer including an 8 billion Norwegian Krone (A$1.28 billion) network of cycle lanes across all of Norway including Oslo. Construction, which is still underway, commenced in 2016 along with a range of measures to reduce use of cars, but increase cycling, walking and public transport.

Deaths from all forms of transport including cars and motorcycles have also halved in Norway to 106 in 2017. This equates to 2.1 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants per year, compared to 5.6 deaths per 100,000 Australians and 12.4 deaths per 100,000 Americans per year. In the worst ranked African and Asian countries, the death rate is over 30 per 100,000 per year, about six times higher per head of population than Australia’s.

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