A soldier on leave in Edinburgh died yesterday after falling from a pedicab in the Festival Square area of the Scottish captal’s Lothian Road, prompting Edinburgh City Council to re-examine the issue of whether the vehicles should be licensed.
Christopher O’Kane, aged 26, suffered head injuries after apparently jumping out of the moving vehicle at 2.20am on Sunday morning, and died yesterday in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
Greg Aitken, owner of Charit Cabs, operator of the pedicab involved in the incident, said in a statement: “"I would like to send my condolences and sympathies to the man's family. I am very sorry for how such an unfortunate accident has panned out.”
He continued: "My driver acted perfectly and I have every confidence in my driver. It's the only incident we've ever been involved in like this in six years so the pedicabs are very very safe."
Mr O’Kane, who came from East Lothian and had served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers, had been celebrating his birthday with friends in the city in the hours leading up to the accident.
STV reported that Edinburgh City Council is to consider licensing pedicabs to operate on the city’s streets, where some 60 such vehicles are currently believed to ply their trade.
Councillor Colin Kerr told STV: "Council officers are making enquiries regarding the unfortunate incident at the weekend. It is our intention to look at the licensing of pedicabs in the future."
It is not the first time that the safety of the rickshaw-style vehicles has come under the spotlight in the city. In 2001, the council conducted safety checks on all of the city’s pedicabs after a woman was seriously injured when her neckscarf became entangled in the wheels of a pedicab. The vehicles were allowed back on the streets once they had passed the safety test.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.