Cyclist's death an awareness reminder
A coroner has reminded cyclists to be aware of traffic and make themselves visible to other road users following the death of a Dunedin man.
Ian Grant Scott, 72, died when his bike and a car collided in Green Island, Dunedin, in March last year.
Otago-Southland coroner David Crerar said that although Mr Scott was wearing a high-visibility vest at the time of the accident, it appeared he had not been fully aware of traffic.
Mr Scott required hearing aids but did not wear them when cycling because he was worried sweat would damage them.
Mr Crerar said that shortly before colliding with the car, Mr Scott had veered toward the centre of the road, into the path of an oncoming car.
He did not know whether it was a deliberate manoeuvre by Mr Scott or the result of a wind gust, but said the cyclist might have been more careful if he had heard the car coming.
"It can only be speculation, but if Ian Scott had been wearing his hearing aids, he may have heard the Honda approaching and he may have paid more particular attention to staying on the left-hand side of the road."
Neither Mr Crerar nor the police placed any blame on the driver of the car, Henry McMullan, and an autopsy showed no medical abnormalities could have caused Mr Scott to lose control of his bike.
Mr Crerar recommended the findings be forwarded to the NZ Transport Agency and he suggested all cyclists wear high-visibility clothing and keep alert.
"In my view, it is always appropriate for those riding cycles on roads carrying other vehicular traffic to do all that they can to ensure they make themselves visible to other road users.
"Riders of bicycles, particularly on main roads, owe a duty and a responsibility to other road users."
The Southland Times