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Safety warning issued as bicycle deaths double

Swissinfo.ch: Safety warning issued as bicycle deaths double

The number of deaths among cyclists doubled in 2009, prompting the Swiss Council for Accident Prevention to call for greater vigilance on the roads.
Last year 55 cyclists died in road accidents in Switzerland, compared with 27 in 2008, and 850 riders suffered serious injuries – a four per cent rise.

To combat the problem, the council said city planners needed to develop more cycle routes and motorists needed to watch their speed and avoid drink driving. Cyclists should in turn improve their riding in traffic and wear helmets.

Despite the increase, overall road accidents continued a downward trend, falling by three per cent in 2009. A total of 348 people died on the roads and 4,648 were seriously injured. Motorcycle fatalities fell by five per cent to 79 but there were 1,439 serious injuries among riders.

The number of pedestrians killed in road accidents rose by five per cent to 62. Another 689 people were seriously injured.

The council said motorists were becoming better protected as stronger, more technologically advanced cars are developed.