Once again, we are taken on the same merry-go-round, noting that another cyclist has been killed, but doing nothing about identifying how or why.

News agencies report that a 59-year-old cyclist was killed in Toronto Ontario “on Bayview Avenue at the Don Valley North exit ramp, near the Brick Works” (CP24 News article April 8, 2024). The cyclist was reportedly struck by a 2023 Ford Bronco Sport SUV.

We can note the “very helpful” description of what happened as noted in the police news release: “The two collided causing the cyclist to fall and causing significant injuries”.

It is understandable that collision reconstruction takes time. That is why persons reading such comments believe that, although nothing is known at an early time, it will eventually be unraveled. But the unfortunate reality is that, even though police may unravel what happened, the explanation of what happened will never reach the public that needs to know. And the public has a short memory. Within days the public is bombarded by numerous other news items and the relevance of a cyclist death become irrelevant.

But why does the public need to know? Surely, over the years, it has been understood that how and why collisions occur is only to be known by investigating police and then only known by those to whom the police report the information. Strangely this process has carried on for decades as if it could be an efficient way to improve road safety.

Our view at Gorski Consulting is clear: Anyone who rides a cycle on or near public roads and paths ought to be provided with clear and accurate information about what risks exist that could injure or kill them. At the present time that is not happening.

The evidence is clear, as demonstrated by Dr. Alison Macpherson in her recent research on cyclist collisions in Toronto. Her work showed that police reports of collisions captured only 8% of cyclist visits to hospital emergency departments in Toronto. She also noted that, over a 5-year-period, there were over 30,000 cyclist visits to hospital emergency departments and about 87% of those incidents did not involve a collision with a motor vehicle. Whenever a motor vehicle is not involved police do not have to fill out a report. So this is another reason why vast numbers of cyclist injuries are never made public.