Call to act against arrogant drivers

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By Kamini Padayachee

Durban - While the taxi driver charged in connection with the death of Olympic cyclist Burry Stander was released on a warning yesterday, the KwaZulu-Natal Cycling Association said cycling and pedestrian road crashes needed more attention from the authorities.

The association also called for urgent action to change the behaviour of “impatient and arrogant” road users.

Stander, 25, died on Thursday after he was hit by a minibus taxi while on a training ride in Marine Drive, Shelly Beach. Taxi driver Njabulo Nyawose made a brief appearance in the Port Shepstone Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

 According to the charge sheet, Nyawose is charged with culpable homicide, alternatively reckless or negligent driving or inconsiderate driving.

State prosecutor Collen Molebatsi said the State was not opposed to Nyawose being released on a warning because he was co-operating with the police and had reported the incident after it occurred.

Molebatsi said the case was adjourned for further investigation as the crash had to be reconstructed and evidence from the bike and taxi had to be sent for analysis.

Nyawose, who was supported by relatives in court, declined to speak to the media and hid his face in a jacket when photographs were taken.

KZN Cycling Association president Greg Stedman said he could not comment on the court case.

“Obviously we are all highly emotional right now, so we cannot say much about the case. The investigation is still continuing and we have to respect that, but we also want to be satisfied that justice will be done.”

Stedman said the organisation’s biggest concern was the frequency of cycling road crashes.

“Cycling and even pedestrian crashes do not receive enough attention from authorities because there are far too many incidents. It has become the norm and is seen as acceptable. We cannot leave it to be acceptable. All road users need to come together and change their habits.

“The 1 300 death toll over the festive season shows us there is a serious problem,” he said.

Meanwhile, Durban forensic accident reconstruction specialist Craig Proctor Parker said he would be assisting the police with the crash probe.

“I offered my services to them because I’m an avid cyclist… I want to make sure all the relevant evidence is placed before the court,” he said.

The case was adjourned to March 22.

The Mercury

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