News

Cyclist hit by car in Echuca

By Ivy Jensen

AN ELDERLY man suffered minor injuries after being hit by a car while riding his bike in Echuca East this morning.

Emergency services were called to the corner of Pakenham and Sutton streets about 7.20am where they found an 82-year-old Echuca man on the ground.

Senior Constable Scott Newton said a woman was turning left into Pakenham St from Sutton St and collided with the cyclist who was riding west on Pakenham St.

"It appears to be an error of judgement. The driver says she didn't see him for whatever reason. It could be due to a number of factors, including poor light and the time of morning," he said.

"The man did have lights on his bike and did all the right things."     

The woman, believed to be in her 20s, was fined for failing to give way.

Paramedics treated the man for minor injuries to his lower leg and took him to Echuca hospital for observation.

The intersection has been voted the fifth worst spot for cyclists in regional Victoria in the BikeSpot 2020 report.

Active Transport Echuca East Group's Jodi Ujimoto said this latest accident was just another example of how dangerous this intersection was for cyclists and highlighted the urgent need for a safe cycling network across Echuca.

‘‘Many children also need to cross at this intersection to connect to the levee bank pathway, a safe route to the many high schools in town,’’ she said. 

‘‘The number of people who have purchased a bicycle during the pandemic has resulted in bicycle shortages not only in Echuca, but across the nation. It is great to see more people riding, but we don't want to see more accidents, or worse, someone permanently injured or even die.’’

Jodi said the fact Echuca had six out of the top 10 unsafe cycling spots in regional Victoria highlighted the number of residents who want to be able to cycle safely around town.

‘‘The BikeSpot report stated the vast majority of participants (cyclists and drivers) want a physically separated and connected cycling network across Victoria. Painted cycle lines on the road are not deemed safe and thus shared pathways and physically separated bike lanes are required.’’

ATEEG is calling on Campaspe Shire to use some of the recently awarded infrastructure funds to create a separated and dedicated bike lane network across Echuca, focusing on the top unsafe spots identified in the BikeSpot 2020 report.

‘‘We want everyone in Echuca to be able to safely walk and cycle as part of their daily lives whether to school, work or a leisure activity. Everyone should be able to return home safely, no matter what mode of transport they choose," Jodi said.

To join ATEEG, email [email protected] or visit www.facebook.com/groups/ATEEGroup

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