Inquest into the death of Brendan Paul Lynch (2014) H&FLR 2015-18
Coroners’ Court of Victoria
2 July 2014
Coram: Coroner Carlin
No appearances (finding without inquest)
Catchwords: Victoria – Coroner – cyclist – highway – hit by bus – fail to give way – signage
Facts: The deceased was aged 52 years and a keen recreational cyclist. On 31 March 2013 he was cycling from Benalla to Melbourne. At around 1:55pm he was cycling in the emergency lane of the Hume Freeway at the point where the Freeway merges with the Northern Highway. He turned his bicycle to the left, bringing him across the path of a bus which was merging onto the Hume Freeway. Mr Lynch sustained fatal injuries in the collision.
Witnesses said that the deceased had extended his left arm to signal a left turn, but did not agree on whether he looked back for traffic. The witnesses agreed that the bus driver could not have avoided the collision. The bus’ speed was estimated at between 80-90 kph (50-56 mph). A sign on the on-ramp warned of cyclists crossing within the next 150 metres.
Held: 1. That the deceased had failed to give way to the bus pursuant to the Road Safety Road Rules 2009, r.74 and that there was nothing the driver could have done to avoid the collision.
2. Effective signage may have prevented the deceased crossing the on-ramp in the manner which he did. Signs are particularly desirable in circumstances where the road rules are likely to be disobeyed. In the present case, Mr Lynch’s non-compliance may have been due to fatigue and a failure to think clearly.
3. It was recommended that a sign reading “cross here with care” should be erected at the point of collision, and that “cross here with care” signs in general should also indicate that a cyclist must give way to merging traffic and cross the on-ramp at a right angle at a particular point.
The Court’s judgment is available here.