On Friday 10th March, cyclist Arzu Bagler was tragically killed when riding her bike south along Whitehall St. She was struck by a truck turning left into the industrial section of Somerville Road, between Whitehall St and the river. The truck driver, unaware he had hit anyone, kept on going until a car caught up to him and he returned to the scene. At this stage we don’t know any more details of the accident.
MTAG released this statement soon after the accident:
Today is a sad day for the inner west, coming to terms with the terrible news that a cyclist has lost her life after being hit by a truck.
Our hearts go out to the women’s family and friends. She should have been able to ride her bike safely, without having to contend with thousands of semis and b doubles.
Our hearts also go out to the truck driver who will have to live with this for the rest of his life. Truckies should be able to do their job without the fear of killing someone because of hopelessly inadequate infrastructure.
And to anyone who witnessed the accident, please get the counselling you need (https://www.rtssv.org.au/…/defau…/files/rtssvwitness_web.pdf)
This is NOT the time to speculate on who was at fault – let the police deal with that. It’s also absolutely not the time for truckie OR cyclist bashing. This is a time to come together and demand action for a situation that is completely unjust for residents and truck drivers.
For far too long we have been calling for solutions, sitting in meetings, raising awareness, writing letters, taking to the streets and speaking to anyone who will listen. Our message has always been – THIS IS NOT A SAFE SITUATION FOR OUR COMMUNITY.
Daniel Andrews Luke Donnellan Wade Noonan MP Marsha Thomson City of Maribyrnong VicRoads the time for talk is over.
Three days later over 200 people paid an emotional tribute to Arzu, coming together at Yarraville Gardens and completing the ride to Williamstown that she never finished. Federal Greens Senator Janet Rice, Mayor of Maribyrnong Catherine Cumming and Craig Richards from Bicycle Network all called for greater commitment from all levels of government to ensure cyclists can ride safely. The #ride4arzu was organised by cycling advocacy group Australian Cycle Alliance.
Here in the City of Maribyrnong cyclists have to share the road with 22,000 trucks every day, an incredibly dangerous mix. All stakeholders – local, state, federal government, VicRoads AND the Port of Melbourne need to do whatever they can to ensure the health and safety of people in the inner west is protected. This tragedy was avoidable.
A fundraiser has been set up for Arzu’s family. Please donate here.