Eight people died in bicycle crashes in 2021.
With the ghost bike project, we honour and remember them, and highlight the tragedy of not just those who died but also the many thousands who were injured on bicycles over the year.
This year, all eight fatalities were male, aged from 55 to 79, with an average age of 64. Three were hit by buses (one minibus, one school bus, one staff coach); one was crushed by a cement truck. Two were killed in collisions with other cyclists, and in two cases, we don’t know what happened. Five of the eight lost their lives on main roads, two on cycle tracks and one on a minor road/track.
Only four of the eight deaths attracted any media attention. This is partly due to a police system that only issues press releases on fatal crashes when the victim dies within a few days of the crash. Given there are literally hundreds of traffic injuries a day, reporters can’t follow them all up, and only around 50% of deaths (usually those covered by police press releases or high-profile incidents) actually make the news. At Transit Jam, we will certainly sharpen our reporting on road deaths for 2022 and continue to press authorities for more public data and information on traffic issues.
The “ghost bike” concept was likely invented in New York City: writer Jessie Singer, author of There Are No Accidents, was one of the pioneers of the concept and these memorials have now spread all over the world.
In Hong Kong, this project is organised by Transit Jam founder James Ockenden, on a personal basis, as a token of respect for people who use bicycles to get around.
Thanks to Crossroads Foundation for the donation of the bicycles for use in this project, and to Transport Department for collating a list of dates and locations.
We will share photos on Instagram and encourage people to snap and share the memorials!
(The “X” represents a name element not released by authorities under privacy concerns)