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Friday 21 July 2017

Cyclist awarded €15k damages after colliding with passenger getting off bus

Cyclist Tracy Maher
Cyclist Tracy Maher

A cyclist who collided with a bus passenger exiting a bus has been awarded €15,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

Judge Karen Fergus said Tracy Maher (38) was cycling on a dedicated cycle lane on Swords Road in Co Dublin on January 31, 2014, when the accident happened.

Judge Fergus said Ms Maher did not recall the bus overtaking her but had seen people waiting in the bus shelter.

The passenger had stepped off onto the pavement ahead of her.

In a reserved judgment, the judge told barrister Ivan Daly, counsel for Maher, that his client did not have time to stop her bicycle. She had swerved to try to avoid the passenger and had fallen off her bike.

Maher, an accounts manager with an address at Fernwood Avenue, Springfield, Tallaght, Co Dublin, said she suffered a fracture in her hand.

She sued Dublin Bus and Fingal County Council, claiming the cycle lane should have had a clear sign for cyclists to yield.

Mr Daly said it was Ms Maher's case that the bus driver should have looked more carefully in his rear mirror before allowing the passenger to exit.

Negligent

Gerard O'Herlihy, solicitor for Dublin Bus, told the court the bus company denied liability and alleged Fingal County Council had been negligent in its maintenance of the cycle lane which did not have a clear direction for cyclists to yield.

Barrister Barney Quirke, for Fingal County Council, said the local authority denied it was liable and claimed there was a sign warning cyclists they had to yield to pedestrians.

Judge Fergus, who dismissed the claim against Fingal County Council, said the cycle lane was far from ideal and a yield sign on the ground was difficult to see. She found Dublin Bus negligent in that the driver had not seen Ms Maher.

The judge said Ms Maher should have been aware of the possibility of someone getting off the bus.

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