Cyclist killed in Dunedin named

Dr LiHong "Chris" HePolice have named the cyclist who died after he was run over by a truck outside Dunedin Hospital yesterday.

He was Dr LiHong "Chris" He (34), a senior lecturer at the University of Otago school of dentistry.

Dr He was a naturalised New Zealander who leaves behind a wife and two young children.

Dr He was hit by a stock truck on Cumberland St about 10am yesterday.

The truck driver was stopped by police and spoken to at Evansdale, north of Dunedin.

Police are investigating the possibility the door of a parked car had been opened just before the accident.


Eyeballing the risk

"That is where rear view mirrors on bikes are so useful - for keeping a close eye on upcoming vehicle traffic behind you," says petermcd.
When I was a child in the country walking on country roads, my mother told me I must walk facing the traffic - in other words whichever "lane" the cars were driving on, I'd be at the side walking towards them so no matter what the driver was seeing or thinking about, I'd see the car immediately and be able to leap off the road if it looked like the driver hadn't noticed me in time.
I suggest the same should apply to cyclists. They would be better able to see if motorists were dodging another vehicle, if it looked like those who had parked were about to open the door, and if another vehicle was coming out of a side road or driveway.
Also, the human eye is attuned to noticing the human face, so I would expect motorists to be less likely to overlook the cyclist whose face is "in his face". [Abridged]


Opening door with left hand

Thanks GSV- that really does work.

I had never heard of this before. This needs spreading.

In defence of One Way cycle lanes

Yes, deepest sympathy to the family, friends, colleagues and students of Dr LiHong He.

And if investigation shows that the truck and trailer did indeed run over Dr He in the emotive and possibly unfair phrasing of this story then a chill will certainly go up my spine as a regular user of the one way cycle lanes.

@ Trev.  Systems like the London one work wonderfully well on streets without intersections. Uh oh.

@ imho.  I agree.  The most commonly occurring motorist behaviour putting cyclists at risk in Dunedin is the casual opening of vehicle doors - with the motorist inside or outside the vehicle. The best cyclist defence is to ride outside the range of opening doors. I hear the objections but if it wasn't relatively safe, I would have been pushing up daisies a long time ago.  The cycle lanes on the one way system allow this if a car is competently parked. 

Extra care is needed around incompetently parked cars and around larger vehicles. That is where rear view mirrors on bikes are so useful - for keeping a close eye on upcoming vehicle traffic behind you. The cycle lanes in Anzac Avenue between St Andrew St and Castle St don't permit safe passage past parked cars at all and to be safer, a cyclist should ride on or just to the right of the white line separating the cycle lane from the motor vehicle lane - especially on Saturday mornings.



I believe not much thought has been put into the placing of cycleways in Dunedin, all that is done is to put another lane in for cycles with no widening of the road or some seperation from traffic.

Has a proper independent risk assesment been done on these cycleways.

Just putting another lane in on a roadway without widening the road etc is very thoughtless. or just cost cutting without thinking of the outcomes.. window dressing for the cyclists..  

London cycle traffic method

London handles two-way cycle traffic on one side of one-way streets using a low concrete barrier between cycles and vehicle traffic.  There are one metre wide cycle lanes with a white line between them. There is no vehicle parking allowed on the cycleway side of the street. Seems to work well.


Open the door with your left hand

A number of Eurpoean countries teach people learning to drive to open the driver's door using their inside (for us the left) hand.  That automatically turns the driver's head in the right direction to check before the dorr is opened.  Perhaps the AA could pick up on this?

Cyclist death

Deepest sympathy to the family of Dr LiHong He.

When are those who designed the cycle lanes going to take responsibility? Anyone using the roads in Dunedin can see the problems but we continue to get excuses and avoidance.
Go and have a look at how they do it in Holland and don't be afraid to acknowledge we have it completely wrong here.[Abridged]

Cyclist killed

I was hit by a car opening it's door approx 20 years ago. I was luckily only bruised, but it shows why you should check for cyclists when opening your car door. Yes, some of them are a bit naughty, but many of the ones I know wear high-vis clothing and are extremely careful. They have as much right to be on the road as anybody.
I feel terrible for the family of this doctor.

Look first

Regardless of the where and whys of this particular tragic accident, I believe all car drivers (myself included) can dramatically improve the safety of cyclists on our roads by just taking a little more care when opening roadside doors. Every day I witness at least one incident of a car door been swung open without any regard to passing traffic.  

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