Driver charged over cyclist's death

A driver who opened the door of his car, allegedly causing the death of cyclist who swerved into the path of a truck on an Auckland street is to face criminal charges. 

British cyclist Jane Mary Bishop, 27, died in November after she was struck while cycling on Tamaki Drive, along the waterfront.

The driver, 35, is due to appear in the Auckland District Court on Friday on a charge of careless use of a motor vehicle causing death, the New Zealand Herald reported today.

Cycle Action Auckland spokeswoman Barbara Cuthbert, a campaigner for safety improvements on Tamaki Drive, said everyone needed to learn from the death.

Cyclists had the same legal right to use the roadway as cars and trucks and the cycle track on the footpath was often crowded by joggers, pedestrians and people with prams and dogs that reduced cyclists to walking speed, she said.

"There is no way that that woman would have been safely commuting on a shared path that is inadequate," Ms Cuthbert told NZPA.

The problem of people opening car doors without looking for cyclists happened every day.

"I can guarantee a cyclist will be doored today and that cyclist will risk quite serious injury."

Drivers had to look before they opened their doors and needed to take as much care as cyclists.

Several days after Ms Bishop's death, four car parking spaces were removed from the side of the road where she was killed.

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