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Lorry which killed cyclist Ying Tao ‘only signalled as lights changed'

Police and CPS concluded evidence did not meet threshold to prosecute the driver

An inquest has heard that the lorry that killed Ying Tao at Bank junction on June 22 last year indicated for less than two seconds before turning left. City of London police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided not to bring criminal charges against the driver, Lee Williams, on the grounds that the evidence did not meet the necessary threshold.

City of London coroner's court was yesterday told that Tao was hit by Williams’ 32-tonne truck after both pulled away from traffic lights. The London Evening Standard’s Ross Lydall has tweeted that Williams began indicating 1.44 seconds before turning left, the indicator flashing just twice.

As well as CCTV footage, a cyclist who was behind the victim told the inquest that he was “angry” that neither the tipper truck nor a taxi behind it were indicating while waiting at the lights.

Ian Hamilton said: “As the light changed, I looked forward and noticed that both the tipper lorry and the cab behind it had both started indicating left. I wasn’t aware of either of these vehicles indicating left beforehand. I remember being somewhat angry that either of these vehicles were trying to turn left.”

PC Tim Harryman, the collision investigator for City of London police, said:

"Ms Tao came up the left-hand side of the truck. She stopped in the short (lead-in) cycle lane, beside the cab of the tipper. She couldn't enter the cycle box at the front because it was full of cyclists already.

"Once the lights changed to green... Ms Tao started to cycle slightly to the right-hand side, close to the left-hand side front of the tipper. The tipper's left-hand (door) step made contact with the rear wheel of Ms Tao's pedal cycle... and subsequently ran it over."

He said that her white helmet would have shown up in the driver’s mirrors but her black coat would not have been as easy to see. He also said that she may have been wearing earphones while riding.

Another witness, Karen Florencio, said:

"I noticed that the cyclist was wobbling quite dramatically, though I hadn't seen what had caused that. Shortly after that, I thought immediately if that carries on, she is going to come off or go under.

"Then it just appeared she almost seemed to get sucked under the middle set of wheels of the lorry. Within seconds she just seemed to disappear underneath."

After a six-month review, the City of London Police and the CPS decided there was insufficient evidence to secure a conviction.

They concluded that the standard of driving had not fallen below that of a “competent and careful driver” required for a charge of causing death by careless driving and also established that the lorry had no defects at the time of the collision.

Following Tao’s death, both the London Cycling Campaign and Stop Killing Cyclists organised vigils at the junction, which the City of London Corporation now plans to bar to all motor vehicles other than buses between 7am and 7pm.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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34 comments

Avatar
ronin | 7 years ago
0 likes

For the last six or so months I didn't ride much or read road cc.  Reading this and I'm trying to understand how it is that people are still needlessly dying.

Does the new mayor have any plans for cycling in London?  

Meanwhile in Birmingham, on many roads,  some without enough space for a bike lane, I see completely useless white bike symbols have been painted all over the place.

 

Wow.  It's past 2016  and half, and killing cyclists is still OK.  

 

Perhaps  if we just get witnesses to say they thought they heard someone shout 'Allah-ho-Akbar', It may get the attention it deserves. 

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burtthebike | 7 years ago
1 like

It's got a little more complicated, with the fact that the audible warning system wasn't working, and that the driver probably knew it wasn't.

"Mr Williams, who said he had 30 years’ experience as a HGV driver, refused to answer two questions from barrister David Sanderson, representing Ms Tao’s family, about whether he knew the audio warning system was not working.

The court was told that he would have been able to see Ms Tao’s approach in two of his mirrors, and could have seen her white cycle helmet as she waited alongside him in a third."

"PC Harryman said that as it was not a legal requirement for HGVs to be fitted with sensors and audible warnings, it was therefore not illegal for them to be broken."

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/warning-speaker-on-lorry-that-crus...

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DrG82 | 7 years ago
4 likes

I really can't understand why it's so difficult for drivers to indicate BEFORE they turn.

On the way home from work today a car randomly stops they turns very slowly into a carpark, the central police station staff car park, access controlled so only the police can use it.

Not even the police can be bothered to use their indicators these days

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brooksby replied to DrG82 | 7 years ago
4 likes

DrG82 wrote:

I really can't understand why it's so difficult for drivers to indicate BEFORE they turn.

I think you're being very unfair: expecting someone in their metal box to move a finger slightly to make life easier and safer for other people outside their box. Disgusting.

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muppetteer | 7 years ago
5 likes

"They concluded that the standard of driving had not fallen below that of a “competent and careful driver” required for a charge of causing death by careless driving..."

 

I don't understand how not indicating that you're going to turn can be construed as a “competent and careful driver” when it results in somebody's death. 

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I love my bike replied to muppetteer | 7 years ago
1 like

muppetteer wrote:

"They concluded that the standard of driving had not fallen below that of a “competent and careful driver” required for a charge of causing death by careless driving..."

 

I don't understand how not indicating that you're going to turn can be construed as a “competent and careful driver” when it results in somebody's death. 

Indeed, the requirement to drive carefully & not kill other road users only applies during the various driving tests. After that nobody cares (apart from potential victims).

It seems the only way to make the Bank junction safe is to ban all licenced drivers (except seemingly wonderful bus drivers) - how ironic.

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brooksby replied to muppetteer | 7 years ago
4 likes

muppetteer wrote:

I don't understand how not indicating that you're going to turn can be construed as a “competent and careful driver” when it results in somebody's death. 

Because so few motorists do, that that is now the norm rather than the exception.

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Kadlo | 7 years ago
5 likes

Even if the CPS aren't certain they'd get the death by dangerous driving conviction how about Driving without Due Care and Attention? Surely better than nothing.

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burtthebike | 7 years ago
6 likes

Highway Code:

"Rule 103

Signals warn and inform other road users, including pedestrians (see ‘Signals to other road users), of your intended actions. You should always

give clear signals in plenty of time, having checked it is not misleading to signal at that time         
use them to advise other road users before changing course or direction, stopping or moving off"

The driver clearly did not give a clear signal in plentyof time, so why isn't that a prosecutable offence?

It is one of my bugbears that many drivers don't indicate until the lights change, and in my view, the HC should specify that you have to indicate even if the lights are red, and this should be made law as well.  How many cyclists have to die for no other reason than the driver just coudn't be bothered to indicate in time?  It clearly causes hazard to other road users and has for many years, so why has nothing been done?

 

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PaulBox | 7 years ago
0 likes

Was it dark when the incident happened?

I know that most people say bright colours, bright colours, bright colours, blah, blah, blah. But I often find that black stands out pretty well.

 

"He said that her white helmet would have shown up in the driver’s mirrors but her black coat would not have been as easy to see."

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nicmason | 7 years ago
9 likes

When a tipper  lorry reaches its destination (usually a building site) banskmen  wearing high viz will carefully guide the vehice making sure all workers are out of the way. If someone was injured on the site by a lorry HSE would be all over them.

But out on the road its a driver on a price trying to get from A to B as fast as he can.

Clearly the driver in this case  failed to check his mirrors properly and he should be prosecuted.

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mwhittle91 | 7 years ago
8 likes

Lorry which killed cyclist Ying Tao ‘only signalled as lights changed'

Suggested edit

Lorry driver who killed cyclist Ying Tao ‘only signalled as lights changed'

Lorries don't drive themselves. If a cyclist ran over a pedestrian it wouldn't be 'bike kills predestrian' it would be 'cyclist kills pedestrian'. 

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Pub bike | 7 years ago
7 likes

So wearing headphones prevents cyclists from noticing that a lorry driver is not indicating to turn left?  Nonsense.  She didn't stand a chance.  Where is the Health & Safety Executive when you need them?

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Stumps | 7 years ago
1 like

Why does road cc need to include the fact she was wearing ear phones ? It was probably a very small part of a very lengthy Police statement which would include other minor points.
However it's been highlighted as though it's a reason for the accident. Not impressed.

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nowasps replied to Stumps | 7 years ago
6 likes

AWPeleton wrote:

Why does road cc need to include the fact she was wearing ear phones ? It was probably a very small part of a very lengthy Police statement which would include other minor points. However it's been highlighted as though it's a reason for the accident. Not impressed.

 

It's been highlighted because it's part of the victim-blaming process that condones this type of killing.

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Stumps replied to nowasps | 7 years ago
1 like
nowasps wrote:

AWPeleton wrote:

Why does road cc need to include the fact she was wearing ear phones ? It was probably a very small part of a very lengthy Police statement which would include other minor points. However it's been highlighted as though it's a reason for the accident. Not impressed.

 

It's been highlighted because it's part of the victim-blaming process that condones this type of killing.

Hardly, his statement probably included the type of bike she was using, whether it was road worthy, the state of the road, the weather at the time, type of shoes and whether they were clipped in or not plus a whole host of other items. A statement for an incident like this can run into 10 or 11 pages of A4 yet we get one sentence which makes it look like victim blaming, that's an effort the mail or the sun would be proud of.

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kevinmorice | 7 years ago
0 likes

Must be a great view from these high horses you lot are all up on. 

 

None of you seem to notice that she undertook a lorry that was stopped at a junction. 

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tritecommentbot replied to kevinmorice | 7 years ago
10 likes

kevinmorice wrote:

Must be a great view from these high horses you lot are all up on. 

 

None of you seem to notice that she undertook a lorry that was stopped at a junction. 

 

Deserved to get crushed under a lorry then?

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Stumps replied to kevinmorice | 7 years ago
17 likes
kevinmorice wrote:

Must be a great view from these high horses you lot are all up on. 

 

None of you seem to notice that she undertook a lorry that was stopped at a junction. 

Not a very useful comment. The lorry wasn't indicating left and she was in the correct position on the road. She did nothing wrong.

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Dnnnnnn replied to kevinmorice | 7 years ago
17 likes

kevinmorice wrote:

Must be a great view from these high horses you lot are all up on. 

None of you seem to notice that she undertook a lorry that was stopped at a junction. 

Sounds like she used the marked cycle lane as it is designed to be used.

The lorry driver, conversely, seems to have failed to look properly, failed to use his indicators properly, and failed to have had sufficient regard in general to the proximity of other, vulnerable road users.

She paid for poor infrastructure and poor driving with her life.

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psling replied to kevinmorice | 7 years ago
10 likes

kevinmorice wrote:

Must be a great view from these high horses you lot are all up on. 

 

None of you seem to notice that she undertook a lorry that was stopped at a junction. 

 

Unfortunately, it seems the driver of the lorry failed to notice from his high driving position the marked bike lane on the left hand side of his vehicle as he approached the junction. The marked lane that filters cyclists up the left hand side of stationary vehicles at the junction.

Possibly you missed that too?

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PaulBox replied to kevinmorice | 7 years ago
5 likes

kevinmorice wrote:

Must be a great view from these high horses you lot are all up on. 

 

None of you seem to notice that she undertook a lorry that was stopped at a junction. 

So the advanced cyclist boxes are only to be used by cyclists if they get there first?

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brooksby replied to kevinmorice | 7 years ago
5 likes

kevinmorice wrote:

Must be a great view from these high horses you lot are all up on. 

None of you seem to notice that she undertook a lorry that was stopped at a junction. 

OK - please explain what a cyclist should do if they follow a marked cycle lane alongside vehicles which are not giving any indication that they intend to turn, and then find the ASL is full. Seriously: what would you have done? (oh yes, and saying "I'd get off and on the pavement" isn't allowed because that's stupid).

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Bez replied to kevinmorice | 7 years ago
10 likes
kevinmorice wrote:

Must be a great view from these high horses you lot are all up on. None of you seem to notice that she undertook a lorry that was stopped at a junction.

So if you were in your car, approaching some traffic lights at red on a carriageway with two lanes, and the left hand lane was empty but a lorry was stopped in the right hand lane with no indicators flashing, presumably you'd not drive up to the stop line in the empty left hand lane? You'd stay behind the lorry, right?

Sure, you'd have a better chance of survival in a car if the lorry driver suddenly turns left into you, but the road configuration is the same, and the entitlement of people to use the lanes in this way is the same. You can argue all you want entitlement is irrelevant and that moving to the nearside of an HGV at a junction is stupid, but it's morally bankrupt to imply that an error of judgement such as this (ie believing the driver to have been acting responsibly) justifies the death penalty. We don't even condemn mass murderers to such a fate, let alone people who are simply a little overly trusting of others' diligence in signalling. If anything constitutes being on a high horse, it is surely the arrogance of supposed infallibility that allows simply a casual shrug in response to people being killed for such small human errors.

The problem is that the highway designers have crossed two flows: pedal cycles going straight on use the left lane while motor vehicles turning right use the lane to its right. Roads are never configured this way for motor vehicles, because it's a very obviously stupid thing to do, yet they are configured this way for the users who stand to be seriously injured or killed as a result of it.

Oh, and, even without a dedicated cycle lane to the left, this is basic stuff:

//beyondthekerb.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/rule-151.png)

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Eton Rifle replied to kevinmorice | 5 years ago
0 likes
kevinmorice wrote:

Must be a great view from these high horses you lot are all up on. 

 

None of you seem to notice that she undertook a lorry that was stopped at a junction. 

If you're determined to use clever-sounding phrases like "high horses", avoid making yourself look like an utter, callous, ignorant cunt by understanding something about the situation and the laws that apply to it. Happy to help.

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Rick_Rude replied to Eton Rifle | 5 years ago
0 likes
Eton Rifle wrote:
kevinmorice wrote:

Must be a great view from these high horses you lot are all up on. 

 

None of you seem to notice that she undertook a lorry that was stopped at a junction. 

If you're determined to use clever-sounding phrases like "high horses", avoid making yourself look like an utter, callous, ignorant cunt by understanding something about the situation and the laws that apply to it. Happy to help.

Bit late to the party? Seems to have started in 2016.

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RedfishUK | 7 years ago
14 likes

I don't normally comment on these cases but how the hell can this not be dangerous driving???

The 32 Tonne vechicle pulls up at a junction, where the Advance Stop Box is full of cyclists. As a "professional" driver he must know that other cyclists are likely to be joining from the left as the road has a standard layout (and even if he pretends he dosen't, it fails the what would a reasonable person think test)

He then realises that he hasn't been indicating and turns on his indicator. That alone should have meant he remained stationary until he was 100% certain everyone had taken this change into account.

 

and the Police and CPS cannot be bothered to prosecute him, meaning that he is probably on the road now making the same bad judgements and the other HGV drivers and cabbies can hide behind the victim blaming because she was wearing a dark coat (even though she had a white helmet on)

 

Words fail me.

Avatar
tritecommentbot | 7 years ago
4 likes

Sad how people have to get mauled under lorries before local authorities get off their arse and improve anything.

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zanf replied to tritecommentbot | 7 years ago
3 likes

unconstituted wrote:

Sad how people have to get mauled under lorries before local authorities get off their arse and improve anything.

So what has been improved about Bank junction since this womans needless death?

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tritecommentbot replied to zanf | 7 years ago
2 likes

zanf wrote:

unconstituted wrote:

Sad how people have to get mauled under lorries before local authorities get off their arse and improve anything.

So what has been improved about Bank junction since this womans needless death?

 

Well, they're thinking about it. About as good as it usually gets I suppose.

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