Teenage cyclist who allegedly hit 60-year-old woman in Tampines arrested

Madam Violet Poh, 60, is currently on life support at Changi General Hospital after an accident with the teenage cyclist in Tampines on June 3, 2018.
Madam Violet Poh, 60, is currently on life support at Changi General Hospital after an accident with the teenage cyclist in Tampines on June 3, 2018. PHOTO: COURTESY OF SHAWN TOH

SINGAPORE - Police have arrested the teenage cyclist who allegedly hit a pedestrian at the Tampines Park Connector on Sunday night (June 3), causing her to suffer severe trauma to her head.

The 17-year-old was arrested for causing hurt by negligent act, police said on Tuesday.

The victim, Madam Violet Poh, 60, is currently on life support at Changi General Hospital.

According to her son Shawn Toh, she was brisk walking on the shared path for joggers and cyclists at the park connector on Sunday, but failed to return home after a few hours.

The police said they were alerted to the accident at a park connector along Block 495E Tampines Street 43 at around 8pm.

Madam Poh's family had contacted the police and were directed to the hospital, arriving at about 1am.

Madam Poh suffered trauma to the back of her head and is believed to have been hit by the bicycle from the back, Mr Toh said.

 

Doctors had told him that his mother has "zero per cent chance of surviving", and he had appealed for witnesses to the accident to share more information with the police.

The Straits Times understands that the arrest was made on Monday.

Two pedestrians told The Straits Times they had near misses with bicycles on shared paths.

One of them, Ms Hao Xue Ling, said she was nearly hit twice while walking on the pavement this year (2018) alone. Once was near her home in Yishun and another around her workplace in Woodlands.

“The cyclists are just going too fast, even when turning corners. Cyclists don’t slow down to see if there are any pedestrians, and it’s instead the pedestrians who have to stop and see if there are bicycles coming,” said Ms Hao, 40, who works in sales administration.

“I don’t mind sharing the paths because cycling on the road can be dangerous. But when it’s a single pathway, just don’t cycle so quickly.”

It is a view that Mr Francis Chu, co-founder of enthusiast group Love Cycling SG, also takes. He said cyclists need to slow down to walking speed when approaching pedestrians on the sidewalk.

“The pedestrian has no responsibility. Before we allowed cyclists onto the pavement, pedestrians could walk around without serious incident because the pavement was designed as a safe space for them,” said Mr Chu, who is also a member of the Active Mobility Advisory Panel.

“Cyclists are the newcomers who have been granted the privilege to ‘borrow’ the pavement, so when they use this space they should respect its original users.”

Mr Chu believes, however, that the best long-term plan is to have separate paths for cyclists and pedestrians. “We should aim for this as much as possible. Because cycling and walking primarily take place at two very different speeds.”

Police investigations are ongoing.