'Ghost bike' where a cyclist died

LESS than one in five fatal accidents between cyclists and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) in Dublin lead to prosecutions, sparking claims of "institutional blindness" by authorities.

Figures between 2005 and 2009 show that of 11 cyclists who lost their lives through collisions with commercial vehicles, just two have led to prosecutions. One of those related to a driver not having insurance.

It also follows recent criticisms that many heavy trucks banned from the capital are flaunting the new law prohibiting them from the city centre introduced in 2007.

The latest revelation has been highly criticised by the Dublin Cycling Campaign (DCC) – a specialist group established to improve road conditions for cyclists – which has questioned why so little action is taken against drivers of HGVs.

"Is one to conclude that the gardaí or director of public prosecutions believe cyclists to be in the main responsible for their own demise and that the driver is blameless?" asked Dr Mike McKillen, a biochemist at Trinity College and a coordinator at the DCC.

"Or is this institutional blindness within the gardaí and DPP to cyclists' road safety needs?

"Remember we are the most vulnerable of all traffic – no steel cage around us; no seat belts and no airbags."

The figures only relate to those cyclists killed in the Dublin metropolitan region and not those injured.

Seven fatalities occurred between 2005 and 2007 and while all were investigated, no prosecutions were brought.

In 2008 there were two fatalities. In one case, no prosecution was directed. In the other, a driver was convicted of having no insurance.

So far this year there have been two deaths of cyclists in Dublin involved with HGVs. One driver has been charged with careless driving while the other incident remains under investigation.