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Soldier dies after falling from Edinburgh pedicab

Fatal accident prompts council to reconsider licensing pedal-powered cabs

A soldier on leave in Edinburgh died yesterday after falling from a pedicab in the Festival Square area of the Scottish captal’s Lothian Road, prompting Edinburgh City Council to re-examine the issue of whether the vehicles should be licensed.

Christopher O’Kane, aged 26, suffered head injuries after apparently jumping out of the moving vehicle at 2.20am on Sunday morning, and died yesterday in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Greg Aitken, owner of Charit Cabs, operator of the pedicab involved in the incident, said in a statement: “"I would like to send my condolences and sympathies to the man's family. I am very sorry for how such an unfortunate accident has panned out.”

He continued: "My driver acted perfectly and I have every confidence in my driver. It's the only incident we've ever been involved in like this in six years so the pedicabs are very very safe."

Mr O’Kane, who came from East Lothian and had served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers, had been celebrating his birthday with friends in the city in the hours leading up to the accident.

STV reported that Edinburgh City Council is to consider licensing pedicabs to operate on the city’s streets, where some 60 such vehicles are currently believed to ply their trade.

Councillor Colin Kerr told STV: "Council officers are making enquiries regarding the unfortunate incident at the weekend. It is our intention to look at the licensing of pedicabs in the future."

It is not the first time that the safety of the rickshaw-style vehicles has come under the spotlight in the city. In 2001, the council conducted safety checks on all of the city’s pedicabs after a woman was seriously injured when her neckscarf became entangled in the wheels of a pedicab. The vehicles were allowed back on the streets once they had passed the safety test.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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