Knocked down on walkway, now she needs surgery
BE TOUGHER on errant motorised bicycle riders.
That call came from an angry woman after her mother, 70, was badly hurt when one of these motorised bicycles crashed into her on April 18.
The older woman, who wanted to be known only as Madam Heng, has fractures on her face, and bruises and abrasions on her forehead and limbs. Her left thumb ligament is also torn.
Her daughter, housewife Eileen Lee, 45, said enforcement efforts should be stepped up to prevent errant cyclists from hurting others.
As motorised bicycles grow in popularity - there are 11,600 such bikes now - the Land Transport Authority (LTA) is holding a consultation exercise to look into the rules on such devices.
In the last five years, the Traffic Police issued around 3,500 summonses to cyclists, including those on motorised bicycles, for cycling on footpaths.
Figures from LTA show that 1,042 summonses were issued last year to those who use or sell motorised bicycles that do not meet the requirements. This is up from 978 in 2013.
Describing Madam Heng's version of events, Ms Lee said her mother had been on her way to buy groceries when she was knocked down at a walkway next to Block 120, Paya Lebar Way.
"My mum was walking on a pedestrian walkway when she was hit. The rider did not really extend any help. He just asked my mum if she was okay and left when she said she was.
"But my mum was sitting on the floor and couldn't get up. Her forehead was already bleeding," said Ms Lee.
Madam Heng was later helped up by an old man who saw what had happened. She limped to the market as her husband was waiting for her there. It was Ms Lee's brother who rushed Madam Heng to the hospital when he realised she was seriously injured.
"My father called my brother the moment he saw my mum bleeding," said Ms Lee, who added that she does not live near her parents.
A medical check-up at the hospital revealed that Madam Heng's injuries are not superficial. The accident cracked her facial bone and eye socket.
If surgery is not done within two weeks, Madam Heng's facial muscles may droop, eventually affecting her jaw and chewing, Ms Lee added. Madam Heng is scheduled to undergo surgery today. Her torn thumb ligament will take at least a month to heal.
Said Ms Lee: "In my mum's case, the consolation is that the culprit has been identified. Can you imagine the kind of anguish the family members will be in if it's a hit-and-run accident?"
Anything that is motorised should strictly stay on public roads, said road safety expert Gopinath Menon.
The danger lies in the big difference in speed between motorised mobility devices and pedestrians, said the Nanyang Technological University adjunct associate professor and retired transport engineer.
Motorised bicycles are allowed to travel up to a speed of 25kmh, five times the speed of a walking pedestrian.
In response to TNP's queries, a police spokesman said the case has been classified as one of rash act causing grievous hurt.
A 39-year-old man has been arrested in relation to the case. TNP understands that he is a coffee shop assistant.
Police investigations are ongoing.
THE NEW PAPER