More on Emma Foa
23.09.07 by Buffalo Bill
Most contributors have expressed outrage at the sentence. However, a significant minority have criticised the cyclist for positioning herself in the ‘wrong’ place, and also sought to absolve the driver by suggesting that Ms Foa was hidden in the vehicle’s ‘blind-spot’.
I want to correct this impression. The prosecutor was reported as making the statement:
She was alongside for 37 seconds and would have been visible.
This is a remarkably precise statement. How can the prosecution have been so certain of the length of time that she was along-side the truck, and that she would have been visible?
The answer is that the junction was over-looked by CCTV cameras, and that the police examined the vehicle and its mirrors to determine what would have been visible. It is this evidence that allowed the prosecution to state so unequivocally that the driver would have seen the cyclist in his mirrors, had he been paying attention to the road, instead of looking at page 3 or whatever it was.
As to whether the truck was signalling, whether Ms Foa arrived at the junction before or after the truck, I can’t say, based on the reports that I have read. It is true to say that the left-hand side of a truck is no place for a cyclist, given the number of London cyclists that have been killed by lorries.
However, given that nearly all on-road cycle lanes are on the left, and that TfL published a series of posters showing cyclists in exactly the wrong position, I find it difficult to criticise a cyclist, particularly a dead cyclist, for following the intuitive line, and keeping to the left. I also find it regrettable that, despite the unequivocal statements at the trial, cyclists are rushing to the defence of the driver, using the perennial blind-spot defence. I hope that I have dismissed this red-herring.