Thursday, 17 September 2009

Another lorry/cyclist fatality

Shortly after a cyclist was killed yesterday by a lorry driver in Whitechapel, another cyclist died under the wheels of an HGV in Dublin.

The cyclist was travelling west along the south quays when the front of his bicycle was dragged under the wheels of the lorry at about 8.20am, close to the Ha'penny Bridge on Wellington Quay.

Needless to say the Irish AA was quick to focus on the really crucial issue:

AA spokeswoman Louise Duffy said the tragic accident had a strong impact on inbound traffic, and that, judging by texts and calls to the AA Roadwatch office, some motorists experienced delays of 15 minutes to half-an-hour in travelling times.

There are two interesting differences between the two fatalities. Firstly, the Dublin death was a big national story in Ireland.

That contrasts with England, where the fatality was mentioned only on the website of one local newspaper. As usual, the car supremacist journalists on BBC London News ignored this latest killing. BBC London News journalists have a contemptuous disregard for cycling deaths in the capital, which they deliberately and wilfully refuse to regard as news. Yet they are obsessed by trivial car parking ticket stories and ‘unfair’ speeding tickets – presumably because these overpaid hacks all drive fast cars and have clocked up numerous parking and speeding tickets.

Secondly, in Ireland the capital’s cycling organisation was angry:

Last night, cycling campaigners hit out at the garda [police] traffic corps, claiming that drivers who put bike users in danger were not being prosecuted.

Dr Mike McKillen, Dublin Cycling Campaign chairman, said: "Gardai do not see cycling as being vulnerable and requiring proper traffic enforcement. Gardai are not doing their job in protecting cycling."

Dr McKillen said the campaign group has official figures which show that no motorist has been prosecuted for dangerous overtaking, which, he says, puts cyclists at risk.

That is in sharp contrast to the London Cycling Campaign, which as far as I’m aware has never criticised the Metropolitan Police, describes the Met and the BBC as 'cycle friendly' on its website, and won’t mention fatalities on its website for fear of putting people off cycling.