Road Safety Week 14-21 May: ‘Drive So Others Survive’ (Drive SOS)

WestCycle welcomes Road Safety Week as an opportunity for all road users to reflect on their behaviour – and reduce road trauma incidents that, while rare, tragically continue to cut short or change lives.

IIt’s in this context that motorist behaviour is the crucial theme of Road Safety Week in 2023 under the banner: ‘Drive So Others Survive’ (Drive SOS).

Jodie’s story: ‘Think before you do’

Jodie Nikolic’s story shows how lives are changed forever as a result of road trauma provoked by bad driver behaviour.

Jodie was struck by a car driven by a phone-distracted, intoxicated person while cycling – leaving her with permanent paraplegia and life in a wheelchair.

A successful triathlete, nutritionist and gym owner, her life was turned upside down after her injury.

“It’s the old cliché but people really don’t think it will happen to them,” Jodie said. “And usually it won’t, but it can because of the choices someone else makes. Then your life can be changed forever like mine was. You lose your independence, your freedom, yourself. You have to completely redefine yourself.”

Jodie now works with PBF Australia (the Paraplegic Benefit Fund) on community campaigns to raise awareness of spinal cord injury and to improve driver behaviour.

“The fact is driver behaviour still has a long way to go,” Jodie said. “The biggest cause of road trauma is intoxicated drivers or drivers being distracted by phones. That’s why I say: Think before you do. Because when you don’t, the results can be devastating to both yourself and others.”

Free injury prevention and driver behaviour webinar

As part of Road Safety Week, WestCycle is presenting a free injury prevention webinar with PBF where Jodie will tell her story and discuss driver behaviour with participants on Thursday 18 May.

Making cycling safer

WestCycle works with governments and the community to make cycling safer across WA. 

“Sadly, around four bike riders die on WA roads each year,” said WestCycle CEO Wayne Bradshaw. ”We cannot and should not accept this.  We need greater physical separation of people on bikes and people in cars and to consider active transport as an important means of transport.

“The recent record investment by the WA government has made significant improvements to cycling infrastructure. We now need to support local governments to complete the Long-Term Cycle Network as a priority.” “The cycling network has an even greater role to play with the massive uptake in e-rideables. With such an increase in use of our bike paths by a range of users, we also want to encourage good behaviour on paths and ongoing investment in separated infrastructure that accommodates all active transport users.”

WestCycle guides help people be safe on our roads and shared paths:  

 

Download the Best Practice Guide for Drivers here

Download the Best Practice Guide for riding on your own here 

Download the Best Practice Guide for riding in groups here

 

“Remember, the best thing that all road and path users can do is to be alert and visible, be courteous, use signals and be predictable,” Bradshaw said.

 

Free Road Safety Week Webinar

12noon Thursday 18 May

More information/registration at westcycle.org.au/wc-event/road-safety-week-webinar

 

Notes

PBF members receive a fast-tracked $250,000 payment should they sustain a permanent traumatic spinal cord injury.

WA roads are generally safe and benefit from ongoing investment in a statewide bicycle network that amounts to 63 projects and 62km of bike paths due for completion in the two years to 2025 – worth about $13 million.

This growing bicycle network means more active transport users can spend less time on our roads – but there remain many occasions when our roads remain shared transport spaces – and accidents do happen, usually between motorists, but also sometimes involving cyclists, e-rideables, pedestrians and other road users.

There are about 1200 fatalities on Australian roads each year – 175 of those occur on WA roads. Four to five cyclists die on WA roads annually.[1] Half of all spinal cord injuries are caused by road accidents.[2]

 

For interviews and further information contact:

Shane Starling

Communications manager

Phone: 0492 897 199

Email: [email protected]

 

About WestCycle

WestCycle is the peak non-profit body for bike riding throughout Western Australia and a representative voice for all bike riders.

 

Acknowledgement of country

WestCycle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands where we work and live and pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and emerging.


[1] https://www.wa.gov.au/system/files/2023-04/RSC-Report-Preliminary%20Summary%20of%20Fatalities-2022_0.pdf

[2] https://scia.org.au/sci-statistics/

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Tim Roach

Elected Director | Off Road

Tim has been in senior leadership and strategic development roles for more than twenty years. He is currently Director of Executive Education in the School of Business and Law at Edith Cowan University and is a past Assistant Commissioner and General Manager in the public service. He is an Accountant (FCPA) and sits on the Divisional Council of CPA Australia.

Tim has been involved in racing mountain bikes, BMX and triathlon for many years, both as a father of two children who race and as a past and current bike racer. Tim is the current over-50 State Champion in downhill mountain biking. He is also a very regular and enthusiastic transport cyclist; frequently seen in a suit and tie riding to meetings in the city on a mountain bike.

Denise Sullivan

Chair | Governance & Risk Committee

Denise Sullivan has a career spanning over twenty years in senior management and executive roles in the state public and not-for-profit health sectors.

In her usual role of Director Chronic Disease Prevention with the Western Australian Department of Health, she leads the development of state chronic disease and injury prevention policy and planning frameworks and contributes to the shaping of the national preventive health policy agenda.

Her professional interests cover many aspects of chronic disease and injury prevention encompassing health communications, health promotion and research, public policy on health and workforce planning and development.

She has a particular interest in furthering collaborations with other sectors with a mutual interest in promoting a more active and healthier WA community, and creating and sustaining environments that support this. Denise is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Leadership WA Signature Program, and an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and the Australian College of Health Service Managers.

Denise is a recreational cyclist and recent convert to mountain biking (although trainer wheels still on!).