Friday, April 09, 2010

Ghost bike' memorial for Benjamin Mok, RIP (The New Paper)

"'Ghost bike' memorial for dead biker," Danson Cheong. The New Paper, 30 Mar 2010. Cycling community puts white-painted bicycle at scene of fatal road accident.

IT WOULD be hard to miss this 'ghost' bicycle - painted white all over - parked along Clementi Road when you walk, drive or cycle by.
But what is likely to get your attention are the words on the placard hanging from the bike, especially the ones printed in bold: 'In Memory Of Ben Mok'.

Mr Mok, 35, a freelance writer, was cycling with his friend, Mr Leong Poh Meng, 22, a chef, along Clementi Road last Sunday night when they were hit from behind by a suspected drunken driver.

Mr Mok, who never regained consciousness after the accident, died in hospital on Wednesday from head injuries.

Mr Leong is conscious but is still in the hospital with head injuries.
The two friends were originally with a group of six riders until they split up into two groups.

In honour of Mr Mok, the cycling community decided to come together to erect a memorial.

Mr Peter Chew, a close friend of Mr Mok's, told The New Paper: "'Ghost bikes' first appeared in the US at places where cyclists have been knocked down.

'It serves as both a warning to other cyclists and a reminder to drivers that cyclists also ply the roads they use.'

The idea of a 'ghost bike' was first mooted by netizens on popular cycling forum Dozens of cyclists were spurred into action.

Some offered their vehicles for transportation. Others offered paint supplies and other equipment.

Mr Chew, who owns a bicycle shop in Kovan, offered to supply a used bicycle.

The 51-year-old, who has known Mr Mok for 19 years, said: 'Ben lived in Bukit Timah, but he would still come by once a week to my shop just to chat and play with my dogs.'

When The New Paper visited Mr Chew's bicycle shop yesterday afternoon, the bicycle was still being painted outside the shop.

But by late last night, the bicycle was placed under lock near the scene of the accident. Mr Chew had been working on the bike the entire day with two other cyclists.

One of the cyclists, who wanted to be known only by his online moniker 'Maskrider', said: 'This will serve as a remembrance of Ben.'

Their only worry is that their memorial to their fallen friend would be removed by the authorities.

Mr Chew said: "This is the first 'ghost bike' in Singapore. Let's hope it's also the last." Last year, 17 cyclists and pillion riders died on the road, down from 22 in 2008.

In the accident on March 21, the 62-year-old driver, a doctor, was arrested for suspected drink driving and is now out on bail.

The police are appealing for witnesses. Anyone with information can call 18005471818.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Till today there is no news on the driver being charged even though there are witnesses and also police at scene. what is happening?