Singapore

Motorised biker's death an 'unfortunate traffic misadventure'

State Coroner says death of man on e-bike was 'misadventure'

He was hit last Christmas Eve on his way to his father's home.

Odd job labourer Ang Thiam Beng, 55, was riding a power-assisted bicycle along Pioneer Road North and making a right turn into Jurong West Avenue 4 when a lorry hit him at around 2.15pm.

He died in hospital two days later.

Delivering his findings in an inquiry into Mr Ang's death yesterday, State Coroner Marvin Bay said the death was an "unfortunate traffic misadventure."

Before the accident, the lorry driver, Mr Kamsani Minhat, was heading in the opposite direction along Pioneer Road North.

Mr Kamsani was driving on the extreme left of the three-lane road when he approached the junction.

The prescribed speed limit there was 60kmh and he was driving at around 49 to 56kmh.

Coroner Bay said: "The traffic light changed from red to green as Mr Kamsani was about five car lengths from the junction. He continued to drive while two maxi-cabs began to move off from the centre lane."

As he came to the middle of the junction, he saw Mr Ang on his right. Unable to react in time, the front portion of the lorry hit Mr Ang.

A video played in court yesterday showed Mr Ang being flung off his bike and onto the road.

Coroner Bay said the two maxi-cabs travelling in line may have blocked Mr Kamsani's view of Mr Ang and vice versa.

Mr Kamsani stopped his vehicle and alighted to help Mr Ang.

Mr Ang was rushed to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital where he was found to be have injuries to his head and internal organs.

He died on Dec 26 last year.

Coroner Bay said yesterday: "Motorised bicycles may move at a high speed and present a low profile.

"This is compounded by the fact that as there is no certification process in place, operators may not have received any formal training on handling their power-assisted bicycles."

Experts The New Paper spoke to said the recent increase of personal mobility devices (PMDs), like power-assisted or motorised bicycles and electric scooters, has led to more accidents involving them.

Dr Kanwar S. Lather from the National University Hospital's Emergency Medicine Department said: "We straw polled 10 of our doctors at the department. Eight informed of having seen at least one to two such cases between last November and this April."

He said the most common injuries were bruises and abrasions on the hands and knees.

But victims in such accidents could suffer permanent disabilities or even death.

PREVENTION

To prevent such accidents, road safety expert Gerard Pereira told TNP that PMD users must be trained in safe riding practices when they buy such vehicles.

Mr Pereira, who is the operations manager of the Singapore Safety Driving Centre, added: "Users... can be taught basic traffic rules."

He said they can also wear helmets and bright colours while riding them.

Mr Denis Koh, who is a member of the Active Mobility Advisory Panel, said education programmes are already in place.

The chairman of interest group Big Wheel Scooters Singapore, said: "But it's a long process. Since PMDs are quite new, we have to study as time passes. We have to go through re-assessments again and again."

On March 19 this year, a 23-year-old died from head injuries after falling from his electric scooter. He was going to Marina Bay Sands from East Coast Park.

Last October, an 81-year-old retiree who was riding a power-assisted bicycle was run over and killed by a truck.

He was going to meet friends in Chinatown when he was hit by the truck at Lower Delta Road.

We straw polled 10 of our doctors at the department. Eight informed of having seen at least one to two such cases between last November and this April.

- Dr Kanwar S. Lather from the National University Hospital's Emergency Medicine Department on the recent increase of accidents involving personal mobility devices

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