Death-by-dooring rider’s own fault: according to “expert” cyclist.

How does one become an expert witness in cases involving the death of a cyclist? Moreover, how does someone from Bicycling Victoria (the self-proclaimed peak body that has been rivaling America’s infamous league of wheelmen with their recent foolery), come to be advising a coroner that a rider was to blame for his own death-by-dooring? The chap was killed by Australian road engineers who are determined to make this the last country in the whole world with door-zone bike lanes. Those engineers though, are not made accountable. Neither is the self-entitled old biddy who opened her door without looking, or the truck driver who failed to take precautionary measures just prior to the accident. The coroner’s report doesn’t even open entirely—presumably to protect the coroner’s own innocence.

http://www.coronerscourt.vic.gov.au/resources/3/6/36f3f70049020dfcb4bdfec4cdff2827/jamesbernardcross_104110.pdf

3 Comments

  1. Kerry says:

    I’m not a big fan of BV, but I’m not sure I see where they said it was the cyclist’s fault. It is said in the report that cyclists do get sucked into the door zone because of their perception of a greater risk from moving traffic. I don’t know that I would say that is saying it is cyclists’ fault.

    Their recommendations then are for an education program to get motorists to look and use their left hands which seems well meaning but seems a bit pointless in the long run, people who are receptive to changing their behavior are not the ones who swing their doors open in traffic without looking. The second recommendation, that bike lanes be moved to the other side of the parked cars is entirely sensible and something we should all be lobbying for.

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  3. Steven says:

    You’re right, their other bad recommendations are somewhat redeemed by the final emphasis on protected bike paths. Also in the expert’s defense, they may have told the coroner the rider edged too close to the car from inexperience, because they were trying to explain things, without meaning to give tacit legitimacy to the deadly infrastructure being thrust on us. I’ve cycled in dozens of cities around the world and have never seen bikes lanes so negligent.

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