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Governors Highway Safety Association article re: bike deaths nationwide

The number of U.S. bicyclists killed in traffic increased in 2011 and 2012, marking the end of a decline in cycling fatalities that stretches back to the 1970s, according to a new analysis by a traffic safety group.

A total of 722 American cyclists died in motor vehicle crashes in 2012, compared to 680 deaths in 2011 and 621 in 2010, reported the Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents state transportation safety agencies.

Full article at:

http://www.governing.com/topics/public-justice-safety/gov-bike-fata...

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The GHSA report was irksome in a number of ways, most of all that they apparently couldn't be bothered to examine rates instead of numbers, not even making any basic correlation between a state's population and the number of bicyclist deaths. The League of American Bicyclists posted a good response. Excerpt:

Govs Highway Safety Assoc: You're on Your Own

Advocacy
Research/Policy
by Darren Flusche

If all you read was the press release of a new report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), “Bicyclist Safety,” you would be forgiven if your take-away was: More bicyclists are being killed on American roads but they’re mostly helmet-less drunks -- and there aren’t enough deaths to make it a national issue anyway. 

The tone-deaf press release focuses on the share of fatalities of helmet-less riders and those with a high blood-alcohol level, without a single mention of speeding or driving behavior, and only a passing reference to Complete Streets. The press release ends with this gem of a comment from the GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins: “Adkins noted that while bicyclist fatalities are a problem in some states, unlike many highway safety challenges, this is not necessarily a national issue.” He says this because there were “only” five fatalities in some states. If I told you there were no bicycle fatalities on the moon, would you say it was safe to ride there? Not without a helmet, I guess.

Thank you!!!!! Scratching my head at some of the conclusions being drawn in various listserv discussion.
 
Michelle Stenzel said:

The GHSA report was irksome in a number of ways, most of all that they apparently couldn't be bothered to examine rates instead of numbers, not even making any basic correlation between a state's population and the number of bicyclist deaths.

Thank you!

Jeff Schneider said:

Thank you all for links to great clarifications and responses by cycling organizations.

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