Coroner: get cyclists off the highway
A CORONER has recommended all cyclists be immediately banned from using the Warrego Highway between Blacksoil and the Ipswich Motorway following the death of a Karalee man.
Following investigations Coroner John Hutton found a truck driver caused the death of Malcolm Donald Kamp, who was cycling along the Warrego Highway when he was struck and killed in June 2011.
Mr Kamp, then 52, died on the side of the highway after the driver of a semi trailer failed to leave enough room as he was overtaking, the report stated.
Mr Hutton has recommended that the Department of Transport and Main Roads immediately ban cyclists from using the highway and that the department should explore ways to deal with safety concerns or provide an alternate route.
While noting his findings would impact cyclists, he also recommended signage be erected on ramps off the highway to advise them the road was dangerous.
"If cyclists choose, in spite of such signage, to cycle on the roadway, they might be held to have done so at their own peril," Mr Hutton said.
"In the current situation, where no alternative is provided to potential danger, and no prohibition is in place, cyclists may use the road in the (clearly mistaken) belief that it is safe for them to do so."
In his findings, Mr Hutton said the truck driver did not deliberately harm Mr Kamp but that his lack of spacing contributed to his death.
"I find that the most substantial single cause of Mr Kamp's death was the failure, by the semi-trailer driver, to brake sufficiently, or to leave sufficient room between the truck and the bicycle, to pass safely," Mr Hutton said.
He said every road user had a duty of care to drive safely, which must be at its highest when a semi-trailer or motor vehicle approaches a bicycle from behind.
"The driver of a semi-trailer must, as a simple matter of logic, be aware of the very great differential in speed between the vehicles, and the very great differential in mass," Mr Hutton said in his findings.
"The semi-trailer driver must be aware that there is no such thing as a 'minor' collision between a semi-trailer and a bicycle."
- APN NEWSDESK