The perception and assertion that cycling is dangerous:
Yes, accidents do happen ,-but cycling itself is rarely 'dangerous'.
-But 10 Cyclists have died and numerous others have been injured on New Zealand roads so far this year ( September 2006) many in accidents involving motor vehicles. ( http://www.landtransport.govt.nz/research/toll.html )
HOW MANY IS 'TOO MANY?'
Having to share the road with motor vehicles makes cycling potentially more dangerous than it needs to be.
Being aware of the potential for serious consequences resulting from interaction with motor vehicles is enough to dissuade most people from making the change to cycling.
Allowing cyclists to ride separately from motor vehicles will reduce opportunities for accidents to happen and will provide an environment in which people feel confident that cycling is a safe option.
Cyclists should be re-categorised as 'fast moving pedestrians' rather than they are currently as 'vehicles' (under Road User Rules) and should not be obliged to share the road with motor vehicles where alternatives exist.
To see a breakdown of the figures for accidents involving cyclists in 2005, open this .pdf file from Land Transport New Zealand.
To see something on the causes of accidents http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/bc/types.htm (from U.S.A)