Recently, the cycling fraternity in Malaysia were shocked over news of Kimura Shunsuke’s passing. Involved in a car and bicycle accident, he suffered broken ribs from no. 2-9 on his right side, haemothorax and intraventricular bleed. In a coma for 2 days, he finally succumbed to his injuries.
Kimura’s death was a wake up call that more has to be done to ensure road safety for all cyclists in Malaysia. Following this, an action group was set up and a meeting was called for, a day after his passing. Held at Starbucks, Eco Botanics, it was attended by 31 concerned cyclists and 3 police officers from Iskandar Puteri.
Those who attended the meeting were given an insight into the accident. As all present were in the opinion that this interchange pose a danger to many cyclists, ASP Irwan agreed speed strips should be placed on the road to alert drivers. He agreed to bring this matter up with JKR, assuring that this will be brought up at his monthly meeting with them. On the suggestion to turn the emergency lane into a bike lane with proper signposts, ASP Irwan acknowledged that bicycles should be able to share the emergency lane with stranded vehicles as well.
Meanwhile, cyclists were advised to ride in groups with escort cars though admittedly, numerous accidents have happened even with such presence. They were further advised to avoid highways and trunk roads as vehicles are known to travel on high speed on such roads. This again is unrealistic as not all riders are social riders as represented in meeting. Another suggestion was to only ride in dedicated bike paths that are segregated from the main road but they are non-existent for the time being.
Further to this, the cheapest measure of drawing a simple line to indicate a lane for bicycles was also brought up. Reaffirming that bike lanes and signposts will alert motorists; leading them to subconsciously avoid bike lanes, this received further nods from all present.
Cyclists were urged to keep an emergency card with them at all times. This should depict their name, emergency contact details, blood type and any known allergies.
Finally, a call was made to organize a tribute ride for Kimura. This will be further discussed on a later date.
AN INSIGHT INTO THE ACCIDENT :
A report lodged by the driver revealed that Kimura was riding on the dotted line, going straight. There was another lane to the left for vehicles to enter or exit the interchange.
The driver claimed he was travelling on the third lane but soon swerved to the left to take the exit. As he was doing so, Kimura veered to the left as well, getting into the path of the car!
Further to this, the police were in the opinion that the driver’s story matches the scene of the accident. This conclusion is made after looking at the scene of the accident and making extensive measurements.
According to the first and second rider, they did not see what happened as they were travelling in front. All they could hear was a loud screeching sound followed by the sound of a crash. They deduce that the car was travelling fast but were amazed there were no skid marks on the road.
The first rider went on to share that directly after the crash, he felt a huge impact on him. His helmet broke, he lost his balance and almost fell. When he returned home, he found bruises on his back. He deduce something big, possible a bicycle could have hit him. He also said driver had made a remark, “saya ingat sudah pass tapi tak pass!”
An avid cyclist shared that as a cyclist going 30 kph on this interchange that spanned 300 m, it doesn’t make sense for Kimura to veer to the left (as claimed by driver) then to the right again. Unless, he was going to use the exit as in the car’s case, it would pose a bigger danger to him. In this case, he had intended to go straight, following the path of his riding partners.
A fellow cyclist who was not at the scene of the accident but saw the aftermath protested the driver’s story. He claimed if the driver had knocked the cyclist as he veered to the left, the bicycle would have fallen to the left but in this case, it flew forward. Also the cyclist would have fallen on his side but in this case, on his back. He went on further to explain the collapse of the carbon wheels was at the diameter ring!
|The wrangled bicycle|