I haven't posted here since I moved to Sydney but since my last posts were about the dangers of separated cycle paths I wanted to share this news.
In translation; a tractor wanted to turn into a side road and didn't see the cyclist coming down the hill. The cyclist died at the scene. "As a handbiker he was sitting lower than a regular cyclist", seems to be the explanation of the farmer who was assisting Police with enquiries. The cyclist had just left home, so the family was somehow notified and rushed down the street to be met & cared for by emergency services.
The cyclist was my wife's nephew, he was 37. He died about 500m from where he grew up.
That's terrible. My condolences to you, your wife and her family.
It's hard to have to say this but, in the strictest sense of the law, he was at fault. There are cycle paths on both sides of the roads, and until last year cyclists were permitted to ride in both directions on both cycle paths. They have done road works and since opening up the road again in March, cyclists are now only permitted to ride in the same direction as general traffic. He was coming down the cycle path in the wrong direction. Apparently the road works have resulted in a better quality path on the side he was riding, and many cyclists have taken to ignoring the new rules and continuing to ride in both directions, on the better side of the road (there's also a regional public transport hub 100m up the road on that side, so that is probably an added incentive to use that side of the road, as opposed to trying to cross a busy road during peak hour).
The tractor driver did stop & look for cyclists, but only from one direction.
There are no mandatory helmet laws in Belgium, but he was wearing a helmet.