Driver in court over cyclist’s ‘dooring’ death

Auckland, New Zealand.

The car driver who opened his door and allegedly caused the death of a cyclist has appeared in court.

Glenn Hilton Becker, 36, was remanded on bail when he appeared in the Auckland District Court charged with careless use of a car causing the death of cyclist Jane Mary Bishop on November 17 last year on Tamaki Drive in Auckland, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The British nurse swerved to avoid the opening car door and was hit by a truck and pinned between the wheels.  She died at the scene despite emergency services’ efforts to save her.

Mr Becker appeared briefly in court before a registrar. His lawyer Kevin, Brosnahan, sought a remand.

Ms Bishop’s death was one of five cycle fatalities over a week in November last year.

The string of deaths heightened public awareness over cycle safety.

Cycle Action Auckland spokeswoman Barbara Cuthbert said someone was “doored” in Auckland every day of the week. She said most of the incidents of “dooring” resulted in injuries, not death, but these were often debilitating.

Ms Cuthbert said even she had opened her car door without looking. “I’ve done it. I’d be the first person to put my hand up,” she said.

Motorists needed to think of cyclists as their neighbours, brothers or sisters. “If we start thinking of cyclists as people, we will care about them,” she said.

The Transport Agency says it is working with the Cycle Advocates Network and BikeNZ to run workshops for cyclists, bus drivers and truck drivers to help them understand each other’s needs on the road.

Mr Becker appeared in court on March 18.

New Zealand Herald

About Robert