Bicyclists dream of a ‘cycle-friendly Hyderabad’ after horrific accident

Hyderabad: A compensation means nothing to someone who has lost a son, father, or husband. A human’s life has much more valuable than a sum of money can measure,” said the Bicycle mayor of Hyderabad Santhana Selvan.

The death of a 44-year-old cyclist Nithin Aggarwal, after he was knocked down by a speeding drunk driver, has left the cyclist community shocked and fearful for their lives.

Nithin was knocked down by a speeding Maruthi car, as he cycled near the botanical gardens, alongside three other friends, in the early morning hours of Friday. The drunk driver reportedly knocked the cyclist over and jumped the divider before crashing into a tree, nearby.

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“We were out cycling at around 5:45 am when the incident occurred. Nithin was riding on the left-most corner when the speeding vehicle knocked him over and he fell unconscious. We rushed to a hospital and he succumbed to his injuries before midnight,” said his fellow cyclist Sanjeet Srivastava.

Nithin has left behind bereaved dependent parents, a wife, and an 11-year-old son.

The community of cyclists had not been able to recover from the incident when another one surfaced as a vendor who cycled to earn his livelihood was mowed down by a lorry.

People from the cyclists’ community are a little hesitant and fearful to return to cycling, as such incidents lower their spirits and enthusiasm.

“The community is in a state of shock and there is a hesitation from people to get back to cycling. They are fearful for their lives. I have received a number of calls from cyclists, who say that their families are concerned, especially women and young girls, who are enthusiastic but such incidents hamper their spirit,”.

Although the police and state have ensured that traffic violators are punished with penalties, it is essential that stringent action is taken against that more stringent action is taken against people who defy laws despite warnings.

In his letter to the state, Sanathana demanded that measures be taken to ensure the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, to achieve the dream of cyclists friendly city in India.

He proposed a solution of 5E’s, Education, Enforcement, empowerment, Encouragement, and Engineering, to raise awareness and accomplish the dream.

He proposed that people be educated with rigorous tests at the Telangana Regional Transport Authority (RTA) and awareness programs. Stricter laws are enforced upon people and drunk drivers are held accountable with rigorous punishment.

He also proposed that a bicycle lane network must be engineered into a road plan for end-to-end commuting purposes. Arrangements must also be made for bicycle parking at public transportation stations, etc.

He also stated that bicycles must be provided to those who belong to the backward classes and are in need of transportation.

“The community of cyclists is not limited to those who cycle out of enthusiasm or to stay active and fit but also includes those who cycle to schools or to earn their livelihood,” said Sanathana

“We discovered our love for cycling post lockdown. We left homes before sunrise, went to the Hitech Bike station rented bikes, and cycled around the area for 2-3 hours before we had to return them. We discovered a number of locations with a breath-taking view,” said an enthusiastic cyclist Karman.

“Although our parents were a little skeptical to let us go they eventually agreed. But following the news of the accident of the cyclist near botanical gardens, we have been restricted,” added the dejected cyclist.

Efforts are being made by people of the community to restore the enthusiasm of the cyclists and requesting the government to take adequate measures to prevent such incidents.

Sanjeet also informed that the perpetrators of Nithin’s accident have been put behind bars by the state police after they were booked under section 337 (Whoever causes hurt to any person by doing any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life or the personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code and 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act (Driving by a drunken person or by a person under the influence of drugs), following his complaint.

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