Sunday, 20 November 2011

Sadeness - Peter Wells - cyclist - killed by truck.

Riding wise Monday was excellent as the after work ride saw me take the Surly LHT down onto Inch Clutha in warm spring sunshine.
Unfortunately, the week was overshadowed by the deatrh of yet another commuting cyclist in Dunedin. I did not know Peter Wells, but I was very disturbed to hear of his death when he was run over by a truck. Radio reports of course initially reported it as a death due to the cyclist 'crashing' into the truck.
On Thursday I had the opportunity to visit Dunedin and follow an identical empty logging truck through the intersection on which Peter was killed. This particular truck slowed before the 4 lane ( cycle lane + 3 car lanes) road and then sped across the empty road to take up the right hand most lane. I guess,  in order to be better placed when eventually making another turn.
Yes, you picked it! Peter was in a green painted dedicated cycle lane and was on the truck driver's right hand side. Absolutely no reason for a driver not to see him!
I wonder what the result will be from the court case? We can of course expect the usual platitudes from the coroner about cyclists clothing and behaviour. When will New Zealand start to lay the blame for the majority of cyclists deaths where it lies ...... on shoulders of bad drivers?
Makes me consider a campaign to look into how to promote the concept of total liability where the operator of the larger vehicle on the road is always responsible for the safety of the smaller vehicle. How would one do that?
Rest in peace Peter - my thoughts go out to your family, friends, and students. Yes, Peter was a teacher.

On Thursday returning to Balcutha in a thunder plump I saw this rider pushing his machine in high winds. Great to see the dedication. Fair way to ride a bike like that for the length of New Zealand.

So, not a lot of milage this week. Have ridden somewhere on ever-one of the last 233 days.

Eclectically thinking ..... where will I ride today?  Cheers.


  1. I don't know if you saw this which relates to the points you make above:
    It seems to me the sentence that says "It was his opinion that there needed to be more road-safety education for cyclists in general. " is an attempt to shift the blame.

    At the end of the article, almost as an after thought appears this statement: "A 33-year-old Invercargill man has been charged with careless driving causing death, after cyclist Peter Wells was killed when hit by a logging truck in Castle St on November 14. He will appear in the Dunedin District Court on January 24. " I, for one, await the result of the trial.

  2. After three attempts, the ODT have eventually posted a comment I have made on the above article at

    Yours Barry Wells