A 34-year-old woman from Indonesia is in critical condition in a hospital after she was hit by a taxi while riding a bicycle in Yau Ma Tei on Tuesday.
The accident is said to have happened as the woman, using a bike without the necessary safety equipment, ran a red light at a traffic intersection.
Headline Daily reports, citing the police, that the victim was riding a bicycle across the intersection of Waterloo Road and Pui Ching Road at about 1:40 pm before a taxi knocked her down.
The taxi driver, a 39-year-old surnamed Fung, claimed that bike rider ran a red light and suddenly appeared in front of his vehicle just as the traffic light turned green.
As it happened too soon, he could not apply the brakes in time, leading to a collision, according to the driver.
Police investigations revealed that the bicycle was a very old one and that it had no safety devices as required by Road Traffic Regulations, such as a reflector, a taillight and a warning bell.
What’s more serious was that it was not equipped with a normal braking system. Instead, it had a self-made one — a rope that was used to stop the bicycle when necessary.
It was also found the bicycle used bald tires, or ones that have worn down to a dangerous level.
Police have impounded the bicycle as they continue an investigation into the accident.
An owner of a bicycle shop told news website hk01.com that a rope can never help stop a bicycle as a steel wire does, because the former is much easier to snap under pressure.
However, he noted that regulations do not specify what material must be used for a braking system.
Barrister Albert Luk Wai-hung pointed out the woman might have violated one of the two bicycle-related clauses in Road Traffic Regulations, careless cycling or reckless cycling.
Both violations involve a fine if convicted. If the case is deemed to be one of reckless cycling, it might even lead to a jail term, Luk said.
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