Statement in response to the coronial inquiry into the death of Mike Hall.
We welcome the conclusion of the coronial inquiry into the death of endurance rider Mike Hall, that his death was avoidable.
We support the Coroner’s recommendation to conduct a safety review of the intersection where Mike was killed, but the recommendation does not go far enough. This is not about one intersection – we need a systemic approach. Three people have died cycling on country roads in our region in the past eighteen months – the most recent less than three weeks ago.
We call on the ACT Government to conduct a cycling safety audit of all rural roads and highways in the ACT and surrounding region by the end of the year. It must work with neighbouring jurisdictions to identify risks and key locations where improvements are needed, and deliver a systemic approach to fixing the safety issues that are identified. We need to take action now to improve road safety and prevent more deaths on rural roads.
We support the Coroner’s referral of the case to ACT Policing to consider negligence charges against the driver. We share the Coroner’s concerns about the loss of significant evidence in the police investigation, such as Mike’s clothing, which compromised the coronial process around the negligence of the driver. We call on the ACT Minister for Policing to give the public an assurance that if someone is killed in a road crash, the investigation is thorough and leaves no stone unturned.
We support the Coroner’s recommendation to review bicycle lighting standards and any strategy that might improve road safety for people on bikes.
As drivers we need to be aware that we may see people on bikes on any road at any time. We need to pay attention to what we are doing and drive to the conditions. This means driving at a speed at which we can see and safely respond to people on bikes. The roads are there for all of us – we need to share them with each other.
We share the Coroner’s hope that this tragedy will act as a catalyst for changes to improve rider safety.
Statement by Ian Ross, CEO, Pedal Power ACT, Thursday 28 February 2019.
Image: Canberra memorial to endurance ride Mike Hall, 7 April 2017.