Cycling, Health and Safety

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Many jurisdictions around the world are trying to retain or increase the share of cycling in urban traffic in order to benefit from the many health and transport efficiency benefits. Safety is a key concern and should be accounted for in these policies.

This report of the International Transport Forum's Cycling Safety Working Group monitors international trends in cycling, safety and policy, and explores options that may help decision makers design safe environments for cycling. Key messages relate to strategic goal-setting for cycling policy and managing crash risks while increasing health benefits. The report also discusses how to better capture crash and bicycle usage statistics. The safety impacts of a wide range of pro-cycling measures are examined in detail.


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Cycling, safety, health and policy – necessary linkages, suggested approaches

International Transport Forum

Many countries are promoting cycling as a way to improve health and quality of life while reducing the negative impacts of transport in terms of congestion and pollution. Safety, however, is a key concern since cyclists are relatively unprotected road users. This chapter addresses the key issues relating to cycling safety and links them to a greater discussion of health, safety and cycling. The deleterious impact of crashes on cyclists’ health is only one part of the health impacts of cycling – and it is often overvalued in policy discussions. This chapter examines the full range of health impacts and discusses critical elements necessary for cycling policy evaluation. It also suggests a way forward for framing cycling and road safety policy such that health benefits are maximised.

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