The Times reports cyclists are almost as likely to injure pedestrians as cars are.
When serious injuries are measured as a proportion of distance travelled, cyclists injured 21 pedestrians per billion km travelled in 2012 compared with 24 pedestrians injured by drivers.
Ok, we could argue about whether distance is the best measure, but we will accept the numbers
Tony Armstrong, chief executive of Living Streets, a charity dedicated to pedestrians, said: “What is clear is that pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users. In 2012 there was a 6 per cent increase in the number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions.
‘Most vulnerable road users’ that’s rather open to interpretation though the figures say there’s not much in it, 41 pedestrian fatalities per billion miles compared to 35 for cyclists. I’ve never seen figures for the number of cyclists KSI’d by pedestrians though they surely happen. If cyclist and pedestrian collide directly both might be injured, different types of injuries of course. If pedestrian and cyclist suffer a glancing blow, very different levels of injuries could occur which might depend on their relative health and mass. Then there will be a few cyclists who come a cropper avoiding pedestrians with no contact between the two parties.
Anyone who cycles often enough will have pedestrians wandering across the road in front of them, I believe in the hierarchy that puts pedestrians at the top of the tree, but if they step in to the road without looking that would be a rare occasion where I would put more of the blame on the pedestrian.
Despite all this it remains that drivers pose the biggest threat and Living Streets would do well to remember that and avoid these arguments that work in favour of the motoring lobby by divide and conquer. Living Streets should remember that if you want to save more pedestrian lives, getting more drivers out of cars and on to bikes would be a good start.