Death of endurance racer Mike Hall branded 'avoidable' by coroner
The coroner said the incident should act as a catalyst for better road safety rules
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A coroner's report states that the death of British endurance racer Mike Hall was "avoidable."
The 35-year-old died almost instantly when he was hit by a car near Canberra, Australia.
The former World Cycle Race winner was taking part in the Indian Pacific Wheel Race in 2017 when he was struck from behind.
The coroner said the champion endurance racer's death should act as a catalyst for the introduction of better safety laws in Australia, making six recommendations - including calling for a review of local road intersections.
She also said Australia should consider making it mandatory for all cyclists to have flashing rear lights when riding at night.
The current law states that they must have a blinking or steady rear light, this is also the case in the UK where flashing lights were only approved in 2005.
Dr Bernadette Boss concluded: "Mr Hall's death was avoidable, which makes the loss of this remarkable person even more keenly felt by his family and the community."
Hall, from Harrogate, North Yorkshire, had been riding in second place in the coast-to-coast race, which covers 5,500km from Fremantle to Sydney, when he was hit by a car travelling at 100km/h, at 6:22am on March 31 2017.
The 19-year-old driver, Shegu Bobb, was making his way to work and said he did not see Hall.
The coroner said Hall had been wearing dark clothing. In previous hearings, it was stated that his rear light would have been hard to see - however Dr Boss commented that evidence was limited.
Police did not retain all of Hall's clothing and equipment, and Dr Boss said that investigations were compromised to some degree by "the loss of significant evidence."
Police testified that the driver had been distracted by a parked car, as he turned on to the highway, and that he had no time to avoid the collision.
No charges have been made against the driver, who had a Provisional license.
Hall founded the Transcontinental Race, an annual race across Europe , in 2013, and in 2012 broke the round-the-world record with a time of 91 days and 18 hours.
The 2018 edition of the Indian Pacific Wheel Race was cancelled after Hall’s death and the 2017 event was cancelled immediately after the crash.
In the hours after his death, a fundraising page was set up to raise £20,000 for Hall’s family – it reached the target within five hours.
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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.
Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor.
Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.
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