16 Nov 2010

Coroner flags joint inquest into cyclists' deaths

8:12 pm on 16 November 2010

The chief coroner is considering holding a joint inquest into three cyclists killed at the weekend to see what lessons can be learned to avoid similar incidents.

Two cyclists were hit while riding with a group of friends in Waikato on Sunday, and a third was killed while cycling with a friend near Palmerston North on Saturday.

Judge Neil McLean says that once any court proceedings are over, and if an inquest is needed, it may make more sense to investigate the cases together.

He says it would be helpful to see what similarities they share and make wide-ranging recommendations, rather than have individual coroners make individual findings.

Advocacy group Cycling Advocates Network says a combined inquest into why cyclists get killed on the road is long overdue.

Spokesperson Patrick Morgan says the group has been working with the coroner's office since 2008 to encourage coroners to launch a more thorough investigation of crashes involving cyclists.

Mr Morgan says a combined inquest could look into systemic reasons for cycling deaths, instead of treating them as one-off accidents.