By Declan Brennan
At least three Dublin Bus buses were observed cutting the corner of a junction where another bus fatally struck a cyclist two years earlier, a court has heard.
Colin Glynn, a forensic collision investigator, was giving evidence in the trial of a driver for Dublin Bus who denies a charge of careless driving causing the death of a cyclist on a winter's night in 2014.
Osborn Irabor (58) of French Park, Tyrrelstown, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to careless driving causing the death of Mary White on November 17, 2014 . The collision took place around 9.40pm at a T junction on Burlington Road in the south of the city when the bus turned right into the road she was cycling on.
Ms White was cycling towards the junction and was knocked to the ground when her bicycle and the bus collided. She suffered serious head injuries and was pronounced dead two days later.
Garda Sergeant Paul Kearney, also a forensic collision investigator, told the jury that in his opinion Mr Irabor had “cut the corner”.
He said the bus didn't approach the yield marking on the road and take the appropriate turn. He said that the rules of the road dictate that the traffic turning onto another road yields right of way to the traffic on that road.
Mr Glynn, an expert witness for the defence, testified that he went to the location of the accident to observe traffic on November 11, 2016.
He showed the jury photographs he took of 11 Dublin Bus vehicles taking the same turn as Mr Irabor was taking. He said three of the photos showed the buses cutting the corner.
Mr Glynn said that based on his analysis of the road layout any bus stopped at the yield line taking the right turn would need to cut across the centre line of the road.
Garnet Orange SC, defending, put it to him that “even with the best will in the world it's still going to cut the corner to some extent”. He agreed and said that making the turn without cutting the corner was an “idealised” manoeuvre.
Sgt Kearney said he didn't agree with these findings and said that no junction should be cut. He said he thought this was not a difficult corner and added that: “Dublin Bus drivers are highly trained”.
Sgt Kearney said there was no evidence Mr Irabor was driving at an excessive speed. He accepted that the driver has a very good safety record.
Mr Orange said that his client is “a man who knows what he is doing and up to this point had never had an accident”.
Sgt Kearney agreed that the wing mirror on the right hand side of the bus could create a blind spot on a right turn.
Mr Orange said “it is quite clear that Mary White presented herself immediately before the bus but how much time he had for visibility is a matter of speculation”.
Sgt Kearney said that the general area was well lit up but that the street light at the collision point was not working. He said it wasn't a bad night adding “it was relatively clear”.
He said he believed that Ms White was “extremely visible as a pedal cyclist”, noting her luminous jacket, front light and helmet. He agreed with Mr Orange that in photographs taken of the crash scene on the night “the bicycle is barely visible save for the reflective thing on the front”.
He said that Ms White was on the bicycle with a reflective top and that the bus had headlights. The trial continues.