THERE were 535 reported crashes between cyclists and motorists in the Hunter between 2006 and 2010, new government data shows.
Of those crashes, there were 558 casualties, including seven people who were killed and 551 people injured.
Those killed included four motorists.
Three motorcycle riders were injured and seven pedestrians were injured in the crashes, the data, obtained from Transport for NSW, shows.
Data on who was at fault in the accidents was not available.
The new data goes to the heart of the growing tensions between cyclists and motorists on the region's congested roads.
The Newcastle Herald reported yesterday that some cyclists had taken to wearing helmet cameras to gather evidence against motorists who they considered deliberately or otherwise endangered their lives.
There are also calls for more funding to improve cycling infrastructure across the region.
Motorists and cyclists who aired their views on the Herald's website were equally divided about whether cyclists deserved more respect on our roads.
"I wonder if these helmet cams can film riders riding through red lights, riding on the wrong side of the road, riding on footpaths, riders riding bikes at night with no lights, riders riding in the middle of the road when there is plenty of room to ride on the side of the road," one reader wrote.
A pro-cyclist reader wrote: "Somebody should do a study on why motorists hate cyclists. It's a disease in the same way road rage effects people as soon as they get behind the wheel."
Forty four per cent of those who voted in an online poll regarding who was to blame for most accidents between motorists and cyclists blamed cyclists, with 23.5 per cent blaming motorists.
The remainder (32.6 per cent) blamed road authorities for failing to provide adequate cycle lanes.