A witness said that the cyclist got caught up in the front of the truck and then went under both sets of tyres.
Would the outcome have been different if Australia had acted on a 2002 study recommending mandatory underrun panels for trucks (as in some European countries)?
Review of Truck Safety: Stage 1: Frontal, Side and Rear Underrun Protection, Lambert J, Rechnitzer G, 2002, MUARC, http://www.monash.edu.au/miri/research/reports/muarc194.html
Front and side underrun panels are required, to protect car occupants as well as vulnerable road users . . . Underrun with heavy vehicle front or sides allows unprotected road users to be trapped underneath the vehicle or run over by the wheels . . . There are international underrun standards . . . A front underrun barrier should have the following characteristics: . . . Energy absorbing barrier. A layer of progressive crush material applied to hard surfaces. Progressive crush of the energy absorbing barrier which starts off “soft” for unprotected road users and the side of cars, and increases progressively to suit frontal impacts with a range of cars . . . In particular a clearance under the barrier of 550 mm is much too high to ensure unprotected road users are not run over by the wheels of the heavy vehicle. Hence it is recommended the ECE standard be adopted with the changes below: underrun clearance 350 mm . . . Given the consideration of levels of deceleration and road users under threat, it is recommended that the requirements apply to all heavy vehicles and possibly as low as vehicles of 3 tonne GVM.
The article makes mention of the cyclist trying to "outrun" the tanker.
If the cyclist was behind the trailer unit and the truckie had his indicators on then that would suggest the cyclist did try to outrun the tanker. This is not made clear however. Im wondering if the cyclist was alongside the tanker before the truckie indicated he was turning left. If this is the case and the cyclist didn't see the indicators on the tractor unit (theyre not as obvious as you think when youre right alongside the truck) then he wouldn't have stood a chance of avoiding the collision.
The whole story seems a lot more credible than the usual pater ... SMiDSY / cyclist over balanced & fell under my wheels excuses we usually see.
Martin, I know that a cyclist can miss seeing indicators of a long bus, when activated belatedly.
The cyclist was on Port Road, Thebarton, where there are 24-hour bicycle lanes, so the cyclist may have thought he was safe enough. Cyclists are required to ride in operational bicycle lanes.
Mandatory absorbing underrun panels on trucks could have reduced the cyclist's injuries, bouncing off rather than going under the truck. Definitely time that Australia followed the lead of some European countries.
In London, UK, some busy intersections now have installed mirrors so that truck drivers can see cyclists to the left in the bicycle lanes.
The SA government wants a 'forgiving road environment' for when drivers make mistakes. How about the same safety consideration for vulnerable road users like cyclists?
Apart from anything else, a vehicle operator (driver, cyclist etc.) has an obligation to give way when changing or crossing lanes. The truck driver having to CROSS a permanent (or any other operating) bike lane in order to turn left has an obligation to GIVE WAY to any cyclist in that bike lane.
This doesn't help the poor bloke run over, but it does reinforce the need for better safety measures for heavy transport operators, such as under-run panels, blind spot mirrors, compulsory use of observers, etc. Also required is better operator education in situational awareness.
The problem is yes it's called a bike 'lane' but seems to have laws different from normal (car) 'lanes'. There's some crazy law where a cyclist can't pass a Moving, Signaling vehicle(non bike I assume) turning left across it's 'lane' from a lane to it's right. But that may be for stoplight intersections I'm not sure about side streets. So you can never cut off a vehicle to your left unless it's a bike in a bike lane, then it's permitted. So I propose renaming them 'Bike Gutters'
VeloAvenger you're right about that law. A cyclist is supposed to give way to an indicating left turning vehicle that is in front of them at all intersections, even if there is a bike lane. If they are side by side then the left turning vehicle has to give way.
I have heard of that law which leads to confusion. Like when I was stopped in King William Street (no bike lanes) on the southern side of Hindley Street. In the left lane where drivers expect cyclists. At night, so the lights for left turn and straight ahead went green simultaneously. I was into the intersection when a fast moving car came up behind me and went to turn left across my path. The driver stopped at the last moment, probably because I was lit up like a xmas tree.
However, being lit up did not help me another night when nearby, cycling on the northern side of this intersection. A moving bus changed lanes without indicators and pulled out in front of me. I was forced into another lane, hoping that no vehicles there.
Jase, due to nested comments, not clear to which comment your +1 applies.
Lets hope he recovers. Please all be careful out there.
When Im heading down the SE freeway in my car and I end up next to a semi or a B double I start to get very nervous. On more than one occasion the truckie has indicated he's moving into my lane without noticing Im there. Ive only been aware of his intentions because I always watch the tractor unit indicators if I cant see the ones on the trailer. If the tractor unit indicators come on then I flash my lights and sound the horn to let the truckie know I'm there. Imagine yourself in the same situation on a bike with no headlights and no loud horn....you don't really stand a chance.