A cycling advocate has labelled Auckland Transport "underhanded" for a report suggesting cyclist Jane Bishop caused her death in an attempt to "get themselves off the hook".
The 27-year-old died in November 2010 while cycling on Tamaki Dr after she collided with Glenn Becker and the open door of her parked car and then fell beneath the wheels of a truck.
She died at the scene from her injuries. Becker was accused of careless use of a motor vehicle causing the death of Bishop, but the charge was thrown out mid-trial in February this year.
The claim Bishop was responsible for her own death was made by former police crash investigation head Graeme Williams, who was commissioned by Auckland Transport to report on the death. The report was presented at a coroner's inquest on Bishop's death.
He found that the road layout was not a contributing factor. He wrote the crash would never have occurred if Bishop had been "riding more defensively, complied with land transport road rules, followed recommendations contained in the land transport code for cyclists or if she had used the cycleway that was available".
Cycling advocate Bevan Woodward said Auckland Transport "ignored" advice to rectify the narrow road layout which he claims was "the main cause of the tragic crash".
"I think it's appalling that Auckland Transport did the right thing immediately after the death of Jane Bishop," he said. "Two days after the crash they removed the car parking that was causing that narrow space, which we had identified in 2006. We had told the council that that was a hazard on Tamaki Dr and needed to be rectified and they did nothing about it."
Woodward added that Auckland Transport are "terrified of being held in any way accountable for the road layout".
Coroner Gordon Matenga is to decide whether the layout of Tamaki Dr was a major factor in her death. The inquest is the first in a series around the country on cyclist deaths and how they could be prevented.
Matenga reserved his decision until later in the year, when he will have completed a series of inquests around the country on cyclist deaths and how they could be prevented.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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