Tuesday 16 October 2018

'Cyclists are exposed to unnecessary dangers' - Donna Fox inquest hears calls for new safety measures to protect cyclists

Jury recommends installation of additional traffic lights to allow cyclists cross junctions safely

Donna Fox
Donna Fox

Louise Roseingrave

The family of a cyclist killed in a collision with a truck said they hope her death can bring about safer cycling conditions for others.

Donna Fox (30) of Belgee, Naul, Co Dublin was cycling to work when she was fatally injured in the collision on September 6 2016.

A verdict of misadventure was returned at an inquest into her death and the jury recommended the installation of additional traffic lights to allow cyclists cross junctions safely.

Neil Fox said his sister was a ‘cautious, careful and conscientious’ cyclist but said the family bear no ill feeling toward the truck driver.

“There was never any ill-will toward the driver. We wish him well. My sister would have wanted him to move on with his life,” Neil Fox said.

Miss Fox stopped at traffic lights at the junction of Seville Place and Sheriff St Upper at 10.40am that morning. She was travelling at 24kmph in the cycle lane moments before she pulled up at the lights, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard.

She was to travel straight ahead on her way to work at a pharmacy on Basin St. She arrived at the lights just before the truck moved off to take a left turn. She came to a halt just ahead of the truck and as such did not see the driver indicate left just before making the turn.

Ms Fox suffered multiple traumatic injuries after she fell beneath the wheel of the 12.5 tonne truck.

Forensic Collision Investigator Garda Damien Farrell said similar incidents were common.

The driver had only a few moments to spot the cyclist in his mirrors, the Garda said. He said the cyclist’s position in this case was extremely dangerous as the curved style of mirror can cause images to be distorted. Miss Fox was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries sustained as a cyclist in a collision with a lorry.

Gardai sent a file to the DPP but no prosecution was directed.

Gda Farrell said according to the rules of the road, a motorist must not overtake a cyclist on the approach to a junction if the driver’s intention is to turn left.

A barrier has since been installed at the junction in a bid to separate traffic from the cycle lane, which has been repainted to enhance visibility.

The jury recommended that all major junctions be audited for cyclist activity with a view to enhancing the visibility of cycle lanes.

On behalf of the family solicitor Dermot McNamara said they are calling on Dublin City Council to install bollards on all cycle lanes at busy junctions used by heavy goods vehicles.

“Cyclists are exposed to unnecessary dangers on a daily basis on city centre streets which provide them with a frightening lack of protection,” Mr McNamara said.

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