driver kills cyclist in NSW, again

I *think* this is the 5th cyclist fatality in NSW this year.

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A terrible tragedy. My thoughts are with her family and friends, especially those who were riding with her and saw it happen.

Why on earth do we allow uncontrolled right turns across 3 lanes of traffic in this country?

This is what makes this road and Pennant Hills road so deadly.

Not exactly vision-zero is it?

Vision Zero seems to be a poster campaign at bus-stops and the like telling pedestrians to be careful because 1522* of them are hit by motorists each year. (I wonder if that includes the numbers run over in their gardens by driverless, out-of-control cars which smash down the property fence.)

*A strangely precise number. Is it somehow programmed as the default figure for peds to be hit?

That is a tricky downhill section of Mona Vale Rd for cyclists, and one which I seldom ride these days.

It is steep, at around 10% or more, and a rider will be accelerating quickly as a result, and also to keep up with traffic. At the time of the crash, 10am on Sunday, traffic in both directions could be heavy. The speed limit is 70 km/h.

Sightlines for vehicles exiting the several side streets before the bottom of the hill are poor.

There are uncontrolled right turns from the northbound side. I have had vehicles start to cross as I have been descending before they have suddenly stopped, indicating the drivers have not looked adequately before commencing their turn and/or they have misjudged my speed. Cyclists are slow, after all, aren't we?

This incident prompts many questions in my mind. How could a driver not see a bunch of cyclists in the kerbside lane? Were there cars following the cyclists which the driver also did not see? Or was the driver trying to beat the oncoming traffic and did not realise the cyclists' speed or even that they were there? What can we, as cyclists, do to prevent the same thing happening to us in the future? And so on...

My sympathies are with the surviving cyclists, their club, and the family and friends of the victim.

I'd throw another scenario in there: the rider who was hit, were they trailing off the back of the bunch? The driver could have been creeping out, waiting for the bunch and not seen/looked/cared for the last rider off the back.

All speculation, horrible incident all the same. 

TV footage of the car involved showed it with a large dent in the middle of the passenger side, suggesting the cyclist hit it as the car was broadside across her path, further suggesting the driver made an unsafe turn in front of oncoming traffic, i.e. the rider. 

I wonder if any charge will be laid. We can only wait and see.

I wonder if any charge will be laid. We can only wait and see.

I believe so, the rider will be charged with:

- riding furiously,

- incorrect operation of fitted warning device (bell) resulting in failure to adequately warn other road users,

- property damage

"Sun was in my eyes officer"

"Ok no worries."

Yeah a 6 lane, physically divided road shouldn't have uncontrolled right turns. 

At the location of the crash, the cyclist would probably have had a steady (fast) speed, its a long distance from the last lights, and its a bit of a false flat before the intersection, its also a bus zone with a hedge behind it, so no parked cars near the intersection and not a great deal of visual jumble.  IMO pretty easy to judge the speed of the cyclist, because of the width of the road giving more apparent motion to the cyclist.  Similarly easy to spot one in the first place.

Motorists seem to have enough trouble dealing with one lane of oncoming traffic without causing a SMIDSY.

When they have to process 3 lanes, the problems increase exponentially. With 3 oncoming lanes to get across, you have issues of concealment, speed differentials etc. It simply should not be allowed, particularly in a 70kph zone. It's like a deadly game of "Frogger".

As mentioned above, it's hardly consistent with vision zero.

Unfortunately in Sydney, "Frogger" is driving a 2 tonne 4WD, texting, drinking a coffee, listening to commercial radio, getting pissed off at why nobody is doing anything about the traffic, not to mention how they want the speed limit increased so they can get to work quicker. It is the cyclists that are up the creek without a paddle, wearing a coffee cup, and equipped with nothing more than a bell for protection.


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