In September 2013, nursing assistant Maria Karsa was fatally injured following a collision with a HGV which was removing materials from the site of the new London Crossrail at Liverpool Street. Investigations carried out by the police revealed that two of the three side sensors - fitted under safety measures imposed by Mayor Boris Johnson - were not working and the driver had been using a hands-free mobile phone. The Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute after reviewing CCTV evidence and deciding that the 41-year-old driver, who has not been named, did not fail the standard of being a “competent motorist”.
Charlene McAuliffe, case manager in the personal injury team at Penningtons Manches LLP which deals with many injury claims arising out of road accidents. Comments: “Although it is not an on offence to use a hands-free device or to have faulty sensors, as they are fitted voluntarily, this remains a devastating loss of life which is directly attributable to a lack of road safety and awareness which could have been avoided. Traffic incidents like this demonstrate that more needs to be done to improve safety and tougher measures introduced. Although there has been a significant increase in media coverage on safety awareness, the number of cyclists dying on the roads is still increasing. It is particularly disappointing that this accident was caused a professional driver (and potentially his employer) who could have done more to ensure safety of other road users.”