Matthew Butt

Should the HSE investigate deaths of cyclists?

Posted in cycling by bnathyuw on 7 May 2012

I have just read a shocking post by Mark (@AsEasyAsRiding) which lists the cyclists who have been killed or seriously injured by lorries directly connected with the construction of the Shard in London Bridge and asks whether the hopelessly inflexible management of this building project has led to the (literal) cutting of too many corners.

We recently also heard the result of the inquest into the death of Svitlana Tereschenko, who was killed on Bow roundabout by a lorry driver on his way to the Olympic site, who was talking on his phone (hands free, so technically legally), and had failed to indicate before cutting across her. This verdict is reported by The Cycling Lawyer, and prompts a very interesting observation in the comments, that had Svitlana been killed on the Olympic site, the HSE would have taken immediate action, but that because her death took place off site, responsibility fell to the CPS, who are consistently shite at following up traffic crimes.

This leads me to wonder whether we should be campaigning for the remit of the HSE to be extended to cover commercial vehicles no matter where they are. Ideally we would have a prosecution service that actually took the carnage on our roads seriously, but perhaps the involvement of the HSE would at least offer a chance of civil redress, and force these companies to take cyclists’ lives seriously.

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