In separate accidents, two cyclists killed in Delhi
New Delhi: Two persons travelling by bicycles were killed in separate accidents in Delhi on Wednesday. One of the victims was a 23-year-old woman riding pillion behind her husband in north Delhi’s Majnu Ka Tilla and the other was a 51-year-old man cycling home in West Delhi.
While the Delhi traffic Police are yet to analyse the number of bicyclists killed in road accidents this year or 2019, at least 56 people riding bicycles were killed in accidents in the national capital in 2018, as per data compiled by the ministry of road transport and highways.
WOMAN RIDING PILLION ON CYCLE
Identified by her first name, Baby, the 23-year-old woman, lived with her husband in Ghaziabad and worked as a mason.
“They would cycle to their workplace. She would sit on the carrier and her husband, Prince Kumar, would ride the bicycle,” a senior police officer said.
Late Wednesday afternoon, the couple was returning from Sadar Bazar home when their bicycle was hit by a truck near Majnu Ka Tilla on Outer Ring Road. In his police complaint, Kumar said the truck was being driven rashly, which led to his wife’s death.
“My wife and the bicycle got caught in the truck’s front wheel and were dragged for a distance,” Kumar told the police.
The truck driver, 51-year-old Sabir, stopped the vehicle and came to check on the victim, but she was declared dead on arrival at the Sushrut Trauma Centre.
While Sabir was arrested after being booked for causing death due to negligence and rash driving, Monika Bhardwaj, deputy commissioner of police (north), said an initial probe has revealed that Baby’s stole got entangled with the truck, causing her to come under the vehicle’s wheel.
HIT AND RUN
The exact timing of the other mishap remains unclear, but it took place under the Mayapuri Metro station on Wednesday while the 51-year-old man, Harcharan, was riding back home to a slum in Kirti Nagar.
The police had received a call from a passerby Hemant Kumar who saw Harcharan, a labour worker, injured on the road while the mangled remains of his bicycle lay nearby. Before Hemant took the injured man to a hospital where he was declared brought dead, he spoke to an eyewitness who had apparently seen the accident take place.
“According to the eyewitness who described the accident to Kumar, the offending vehicle was an orange bus plying on route number 73. We don’t know either the eyewitness, or the registration number of the bus, but we are checking the list of all such route number buses that plied on that road around that time,” said Deepak Purohit, DCP (west).
Amit Bhatt, a road safety expert and the executive director of World Research Institute, said that while the epidemic offered a chance to revive cycling, such accidents involving cyclists could lead to new cyclists shifting away from this mode of transport.
“Those who have to cycle out of necessity rather than by choice will continue to suffer,” said Bhatt, adding that there was an urgent need to have dedicated lanes for cyclists. “Whether these lanes can be arranged or not, it all depends on government’s priorities,” said Bhatt.
The traffic police said that they have been writing regularly to civic agencies to construct more rumble strips and reduce speed limits.
Taj Hassan, special commissioner, Delhi traffic police, said there are innumerable points of clash between cyclists and other motorists in the city.
“There is a constant conflict between them due to lack of space on the roads. But we are doing our best by keeping the overall speed on the roads low by issuing thousands of fines,” he said.