12 Aug 2014

Coroner endorses BMX track restrictions

3:54 pm on 12 August 2014

Northland's coroner has endorsed new restrictions at a Whangarei BMX track after a local police officer broke his neck coming off his bike at first jump in May this year.

Andrew Clubley, who was an experienced cyclist, had gone to the track with his two sons after their usual Sunday afternoon bike ride. He was riding a mountain bike and not wearing a helmet.

Coroner Brandt Shortland said a helmet would not have prevented the fatal break. The mountain bike made Mr Clubley more vulnerable as, unlike a BMX bike, it placed the rider's weight at the front, increasing the risk of going over the handlebars.

It was the second death at the track, and Mr Shortland said both lives could have been saved if it had been closed to casual riders.

The club has fenced off the track, and made safety gear and BMX bikes compulsory.