Crash course in hotspots

James Wolfe was involved in a crash at the junction of Marina  Boulevard and Marmion Avenue last year. Picture: Martin Kennealey d441708
James Wolfe was involved in a crash at the junction of Marina Boulevard and Marmion Avenue last year. Picture: Martin Kennealey d441708

MAIN Roads data has revealed 12 hotspots for crashes involving cyclists in the cities of Joondalup and Wanneroo.

UWA computer scientist Daniel Wedge analysed Main Roads WA data from 2010 to 2014 and created a list of hotspots where there were three or more crashes involving cyclists.

The junction of Marina Boulevard and Marmion Avenue in Ocean Reef is ranked sixth across Perth and had seven crashes involving cyclists over the five years, with people needing hospital treatment in four of those crashes.

Currambine resident James Wolfe (45) was one of those cyclists, suffering a broken collarbone when a car collided with his bike on Marmion Avenue last year.

Out training one evening in February 2014, Mr Wolfe said he was heading north on Marmion Avenue when a car on Marina Boulevard approached the junction.

�I had all the normal safety gear (and) I deliberately put a white top on because it was getting dark,� he said.

Mr Wolfe said the car slowed as it approached the junction so he continued cycling, but then the driver accelerated to turn left and her car struck his bicycle side-on.

�She just hadn�t seen me,� he said.

He said he was thrown across both lanes on to the median strip and was lucky other traffic stopped.

�I was incapacitated because I had a broken shoulder,� he said.

�There was more damage to me than to the bike.�

Members of the public helped him, including by trying to stop the driver when she said she had to leave and taking down her car�s registration number.

Mr Wolfe said police later charged her with driving an unregistered, uninsured vehicle while on a suspended licence and the courts had since fined her.

As a result of the crash, Mr Wolfe underwent two operations and spent a week in hospital and a month off work.

His injury meant he had to leave his profession in construction, and now repairs bicycles instead.

�It took me many months to get back properly on the bike,� he said.

�It has made me much more cautious and nervous.�

Mr Wolfe said he found the driver�s behaviour after his crash disappointing.

�You�ve got to stop and help; it�s just about human morals,� he said.

The Northern Beaches Cycling Club member said he had also seen a couple of crashes between cyclists and cars at the Marmion Avenue roundabout with Anchorage Drive south and Neerabup Road.

�It�s a very big roundabout, so you are vulnerable when you are a slow-moving vehicle,� he said.

Also a keen cyclist, Dr Wedge said he decided to analyse the Main Roads data made available through the GovHack data-sharing event in July after discussions with cycling friends.

The Yokine resident said the data only showed where crashes occurred and whether someone involved needed medical or hospital treatment, but it did not show who was at fault.

�All these hotspots, they are all intersections,� he said.

�Roundabouts are particularly bad; some of the roundabouts don�t have great visibility.�

Dr Wedge said cycle lanes often vanished at roundabouts and traffic signals, making cyclists more vulnerable as they moved with cars.

His data showed four other locations on Marmion Avenue were hotspots with between three and five crashes each: two roundabouts farther north in Mindarie/Clarkson, the signals with Hepburn Avenue and at the junction with Moore Drivein Currambine.

There were also six crashes involving cyclists at the junction of Flinders and Whitfords avenues in Hillarys, with one needing hospital treatment.

Another Currambine resident, Markus Seitz, said he was involved in a crash near that spot last November.

Mr Seitz said he was riding north on Whitfords Avenue one Sunday morning when a car hit him from behind and he was �catapulted through the air�.

�I do have spinal injuries � I�m a millimetre or two shorter because one of my vertebrae was compressed,� he said.

Mr Seitz said the car also collided with another cyclist in front of him, then continued travelling and though he had not followed the case, he was told the driver had been asleep and was not aware of what happened.

The engineer said he was grateful for the help of a nurse and her husband who witnessed the crash, emergency services who attended and members of the public who followed the car involved to get its registration number.

He said the WA Insurance Commission had covered all his medical costs and the driver�s insurance covered the cost of a new bike, as his was written off.

�I am able to ride again; my health is almost back to normal,� he said.

Mr Seitz said he had seen a lot of animosity been between cyclists and drivers, but accidents did happen and people should respect the rules and each other.

�You do become a bit more safety conscious,� he said.

Dr Wedge said several organisations had shown an interest in using the data for advocacy, and it was publicly available online at

Cycling crash hotspots

Northern suburbs 2010-2014

Marina Bvd/Marmion Ave (junction): seven crashes

Flinders Ave/Whitfords Ave (junction): six

Marmion Ave/Anchorage Dr/Neerabup Rd (roundabout): five

Glengarry Dr/Hepburn Ave (roundabout): four

Marmion Ave/Hepburn Ave (signals): four

Dampier Ave/Ocean Reef Rd (junction): four

Marmion Ave/Anchorage Dr/Hester Ave (roundabout): four

St Helier Dr/West Coast Dr (junction): three

Hepburn Ave/Howland Rd/Amalfi Dr (roundabout): three

Barridale Dr/Whitfords Ave (junction): three

Marmion Ave/Moore Dr (junction): three

Pinjar Rd/Joondalup Dr (roundabout): three