Bristol Cycling has obtained the police’s latest figures for road collisions and incidents resulting in the injury of vulnerable road users in 2017. They show that 191 pedestrians and 232 cyclists were recorded by the police as being injured on Bristol city’s roads. But we know that these figures massively under-record the true level of injuries – using Department of Transport research we know that the true figure for injured vulnerable road users is well over 1,000 people. And this is just for the Bristol city council district – not the larger Bristol conurbation extending into S. Glous and Banes.
Dozens of these people will have attended A&E or their GP. So we also obtained the official figures for hospital admissions. These reveal that 30 cyclists had to be admitted to (i.e. kept in) hospital because of their injuries. Yet the police recorded only 16 serious injury collisions.
We wanted to know what the police were doing about this appalling level of injury on Bristol’s roads. After several months of negotiation and Freedom of Information requests we found out. From studying the 232 incident reports involving injury to cyclists we found that the vast majority of them were caused by motorists cutting up cyclists, colliding with them when overtaking, carelessly opening their car doors etc. And yet only:
- 1 driver was done for dangerous driving
- 11 for careless driving
- 12 motorists were sent on education courses
In 207 cases (89% of the total) no further action was taken by the police.
That figure represents an awful lot of unsolved crime on Bristol’s roads. We have raised this injustice with Avon & Somerset Police on several occasions and will continue to do so. If you are one of the 700 injured please let us know your experience at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Please remember: whilst these injury numbers are serious, cycling is overall a safe and very healthy activity, with cyclists being much healthier overall than non-cyclists – despite these dangers imposed by a minority of motorists.)