Death that should not have happened

Tragedy of Lucy Monro shows the need for a change of attitude by every road user

Powered by automated translation

Another cyclist killed. Another terrible personal tragedy. And another blow to all those who would like to see more people taking to the roads on two – unmotorised – wheels.

The death over the weekend of Lucy Monro, an experienced cyclist and campaigner, should never have happened. She was taking part in an organised fund-raising ride with some 70 other cyclists early on Friday morning when she was in a collision with two motorbikes. This is not the place to debate the details of the accident or to lay blame, but it is probably not coincidental that experienced riders have been fatally struck while on an early morning ride.

Recall that in September 2013, Roy Nasr, a champion triathlete from Lebanon was killed near Safa Park. Two months later, Medhi Karasane, an Etihad cabin crew manager and another triathlete, was killed while cycling on the Abu Dhabi to Dubai road. Now, Lucy Monro.

It was only a month ago that this paper very successfully ran our #cycletoworkuae campaign. We wanted to encourage more people to enjoy – because it is enjoyable – the benefits of freewheeling on a bike in the open air instead of being cooped up in a car. We argued that riding a bike was not inherently dangerous as long as the cyclist wore a helmet and obeyed the rules of the road. We called for more cycle lanes and, most importantly, we called on other road users to show consideration for cyclists. It worked. On Tuesday, January 13, UAE drivers gave a thought to cyclists in their midst and the day was a success. If only it could have lasted.

As we said at the time, a fundamental change has to come to the attitudes of every road user if our roads are to be as safe as they should be. We still believe that encouraging people to cycle will help effect that transformation, and that more cyclists will actually result in safer roads. It is just such a tragedy that Lucy Monro will never see it.