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NZ Coroner: Cyclists have a duty to other road users to wear high-viz

Comments came after 72 year old (wearing high-viz) was hit by car in New Zealand

Another coroner in New Zealand has called for cyclists to wear high-viz following the death of an elderly man who was hit by a car.

Ian Grant Scott, 72, was actually wearing a fluorescent jacket at the time of his death in Green Island, Dunedin last year, but  Otago-Southland coroner David Crerar said that  it appeared he had not been fully aware of traffic.

He was also not wearing his hearing aid, fearing that it would get sweaty and stop working.

According to Stuff NZ, Mr Crerar said that shortly before colliding with the car, Mr Scott had veered toward the centre of the road, into the path of an oncoming car.

The driver was considered by police and the coroner not to have done anything wrong.

He said: "It can only be speculation, but if Ian Scott had been wearing his hearing aids, he may have heard the Honda approaching and he may have paid more particular attention to staying on the left-hand side of the road."

"In my view, it is always appropriate for those riding cycles on roads carrying other vehicular traffic to do all that they can to ensure they make themselves visible to other road users.

"Riders of bicycles, particularly on main roads, owe a duty and a responsibility to other road users."

These new comments come after New Zealand’s Ministry of Transport was said to be considering another coroner’s request to make high-visibility clothing compulsory for cyclists.

The coroner, who described it as a "no-brainer" and said it should apply to all cyclists riding in public at all times, made his recommendation in the case of a senior police officer originally from the UK who was described as “the face of road policing” in the country.

Jane Dawson, representing the Cycling Advocates Network, insisted to the coroner that hi-vis clothing would not have prevented Superintendent Fitzgerald’s death.

However, Brenden Crocker, a spokesman for the Ministry of Transport, commented that it was giving serious consideration to the coroner’s comments.

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