JOHOR BARU: Self-employed Norizan Nasim from Taman Perling said he and his family saw the teenage cyclists who were involved in the tragic accident at Danga Bay area at around midnight.
“We were on our way back home from supper when we saw them,” he said, adding that it was a common sight to see groups of teenage cyclists riding their bicycles, including performing dangerous stunts like “superman” or wheelies at nights.
“I did stop once, telling them to stop doing the dangerous stunts but instead, they showed me their middle fingers and used swear words,” he said.
Another passing motorist took it upon himself to share a three-minute video which he took prior to the tragic accident.
Property agent Moses Kuek, 40, said he was driving home to Danga Bay when he spotted a group of teenagers.
“They were riding bicycles on the road, neglecting their safety.
“Luckily, I wasn’t speeding and immediately turned on my hazard light to warn other motorists,” he told China Press.
Mohd Aiman Ahmad, 15, from Plentong Estate, stopped riding about two years ago after his parents found out about his night riding activity.
“Normally, we ride in a group of 17 to 25, and five or seven of us will do the main lajak (pedal and let go) when going down the slope,” he said when met outside the Hospital Sultanah Aminah mortuary.
Mohd Aiman’s cousin Haizad Kasrin, 16, was among the eight teenagers who died when a car driven by a 22-year-old woman rammed into a group of teenage cyclists.
The tragedy took place at around 3.30am on Saturday, along Jalan Lingkaran Dalam near the Mahmoodiah Muslim cemetery here.
“We do the main lajak for fun and to see who is the best among all of us,” he said.
Mohd Aiman said the group involved in the tragedy was known as “Budak Plentong”, and normally left home at 8pm and returned only around 5am the next day.
According to several regular road users, these cyclists would occupy all lanes of the road, making it tough for vehicles to pass.
“This is an accident waiting to happen. I’ve encountered them from time to time, especially during weekends.
“They cycle without regard for other road users, sometimes against the traffic flow.
“I hope this tragedy will serve as a wake-up call,” said a motorist, who only wanted to be known as Azman.
Another motorist, Kirpal Singh, said he observed most of these cyclists were not wearing proper gear.
“Some only wear slippers. Very few of the bikes have reflectors, making it difficult for motorists to see them at night,” he said.