"Critical mass" protest vindicated by crash

  • 2010-05-03
  • Oskars Magone

Critical mass events are a popular way to raise awareness of cyclists in the Baltics, which are notorious for having some of the most dangerous drivers in Europe.

VILNIUS -- A hit-and-run car accident during a Vilnius "critical mass" protest has ironically highlighted the danger posed to cyclists in the Baltics.

Two people were seriously injured when a white Ford Probe lost control skidding into a long chain of cyclists at more than 90 kilometres per hour. Numerous others suffered slight injuries from the crash.

Critical mass is a worldwide movement aimed at promoting the rights of cyclists to use the streets and raising awareness of cyclists among motorists. The Baltics are renown for having the highest road death rates in Europe.

Protests involve thousands, and often tens of thousands, of cyclists riding en masse, clogging the streets and slowing other traffic.

The driver of the car sped away after the accident, but has been tracked down by the police through the car's liscnece plate, which was dislodged in the accident.

The driver of the car was speeding down Kalvariju street at about 7:30pm and tried to pass a bus when he lost control and slammed into the cyclists.