More than 13,000 bicycle accidents occurred in Seoul in the past five years, data showed Sunday, amid the increasing popularity of bike riding for leisure and daily commuting.
During the 2009-2013 period, 15,830 were injured and 152 died from bike-related accidents, according to a tally compiled by the Seoul Metropolitan Government.
Last year, about 88 percent of 3,250 bike accidents were bicycle-car collisions, while 11 percent were clashes between riders and pedestrians. A lack of designated bike lanes to separate cyclists from pedestrians or cars is to blame for the increasing number of bike accidents, experts said.
According to the city government, 84.4 percent of the bike lanes built in Seoul are shared with pedestrians or cars, while 15.5 percent are dedicated bike lanes. About 94 percent of intersections in Seoul do not have protected bike lanes. More than 1,200 cyclists were involved in accidents while passing through intersections last year.
Some lawmakers voiced concerns over the city’s limited number of bike-only lanes and weak pedestrian safety measures. Seoul officials said that a legislative push to promote the use of bike helmets and repair bike lanes would help reduce the number of accidents.
Last month, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon announced a plan to build more bike-only roads to strengthen safety.
By Kim Da-sol, Intern reporter (firstname.lastname@example.org)