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How to Report an Accident

Arriving at a crash scene

HOW YOU CAN HELP

If you are one of the first people on the scene where a cyclist has been
injured in an accident with a motor vehicle, this is what you can do.

STAY CALM AND CALL FOR ASSISTANCE

The Pedal Power Association (PPA) has a hotline set up especially to help. Keep this number on your phone:

PPA HOTLINE: 083 111 112

The person answering the call will be able to direct the local police and medical rescue services to the scene. They will want know exactly where you are, so communicate the precise location.

Co-operate fully with the police and the medics when they get there.

SECURE THE AREA

Before the authorities arrive, you can assist by making sure the area around
the injured person is secure and safe from other traffic.

If you are in a car, and if it safe to do so, put on your hazard lights on and position it in a way that may shield the accident scene and make other traffic aware that there is an emergency.

DO NOT MOVE THE INJURED PERSON

You won’t know the full extend of their injuries and moving them could make things far worse for the victim.

STAY CALM AND CALL FOR ASSISTANCE

Do not be aggressive or antagonistic toward the driver or anyone else at the scene.

Instead, focus your attention on the accident.

 

It is not always easy to write the necessary details down, but you can take photos and video. If you are unable to, ask someone else – there is should someone around to take pictures and videos with a mobile phone.

Make sure you get images/video of:

The motor vehicle and the driver

Any any scratch, scrape, and tyre marks on the road or Armco

Any debris lying around that may be related to the incident

The driver’s licence and the vehicle licence plate and licence disc

The damaged bicycle and injured rider

And take a lot of photos

The more the better. If you are not sure, just take lots of pictures from all angles and positions to show where the bicycle, rider and the vehicle was after the incident

ASK FOR WITNESSES

Don’t be shy, ask out aloud! This is a key part of a building any criminal case if there has been negligence.

 

If people do come forward, record their names and contact details (use the voice- or video-recording function on your phone).

LOOK FOR SECURITY CAMERAS

Look around the area for security video cameras – these day’s there are security cameras everywhere). Take pictures that will show where the cameras are. Having access to footage on these cameras will naturally be very useful to both the police and any legal team the victim may employ in the future.

AND IF ALCOHOL IS INVOLVED?

If you suspect the driver may be intoxicated, simply and respectfully point this out to the police officers at the scene. They will now know that you and other witnesses on the scene are aware of this. It will put pressure on the police to do alcohol testing. It does mean extra work for them and them may be resistant to doing so.

Pedal Power Association

The PPA is a public benefit organisation committed to promoting cycling and the interests of cyclists. Recreational cycling (on- and off-road), development through cycling, safe cycling and advocacy are among the PPA’s priorities.

How to report an accident?

What should you do in the case of a cycle accident?

We often get asked by our members what procedures should be followed in the case of an accident. This is what you should do:

Essential steps at the scene of the accident:

 

  • Call the police (flying squad number 10111) and the emergency 24-hour service at 112 toll free from mobile.
  • Co-operate with all law enforcement and emergency personnel who respond to the scene.
  • If you are able to do so, record as much information as possible.  Most importantly, take down:
    1. A description and the number plates of all vehicles involved in the incident;
    2. The drivers’ names and identity numbers, addresses and telephone numbers;
    3. The date, times and address of the collision; and
    4. The names, identity numbers, addresses and phone numbers of all potential witnesses.
  • If you are able, use your phone to take photos of the following:
    1. the scene of the accident, from all angles;
    2. the surrounding area;
    3. the injuries sustained;
    4. any damage to vehicles and bicycles; and
    5. the position of the bicycle and motor vehicle in relation to one another after the accident.
  • Draw a sketch plan of the scene and make sure that it contains a fixed point so that it can easily be traced.
  • If you have been injured, consult a doctor immediately even if you think that the injury is not serious.
  • Do not subject yourself to further injury by standing or waiting in an area near traffic or other safety hazards.
  • Keep a copy of any GPS record of your cycling activity in advance of the accident, together with any GoPro or similar footage.
  • Check whether any other driver or witness has any footage and ask for a copy.

Driver’s Responsibilities:

 

  • Drivers are also under an obligation to co-operate with all law enforcement and emergency personnel who respond to the scene.
  • Drivers may not move their vehicles unless it is necessary for safety or required by law.
  • Drivers may not leave the scene of an accident until the police allow this.
  • Drivers may not throw away any potential evidence such important documents or torn or blood-stained clothing.

After the Accident:

 

Report the accident to:

  • the police (unless the police made a report at the scene). Make sure that you get the case number from the police as well as the name of the officer to whom the accident is reported.
  • Western Cape authorities at http://safelyhome.westerncape.gov.za/reporter
  • Email PPA
  • We cannot stress how important it is to ensure that all cycling accidents/incidents are reported to the police:
  • Insurers will often require a report before they will pay out.
  • Police statistics and action are also entirely dependent on accidents being reported.
  • Subsequent prosecution is heavily reliant on police investigation.

How do you know if the other driver was wrongful/negligent?

 

These are some examples of negligent driving:

  • Failing to obey the 1m passing distance law
  • Driving at an excessive speed or in excess of the speed limit
  • Failing to keep a proper look-out Failing to keep the vehicle under proper control
  • Drinking and driving
  • Using their cell phones whilst driving
  • Cutting across your path of travel at an inopportune moment
  • Failing to stop at a stop sign or, when facing a red traffic light
  • Failing to yield to oncoming traffic
  • Colliding with you from behind
  • Opening a door of a stationary motor vehicle at an inopportune moment

And Lastly:

 

  • A bicycle is regarded as a vehicle in the eyes of the law.
  • Bicycles are therefore subject to all road rules and regulations, including stopping at stop streets and red lights. You may not cycle on a freeway.

WESTERN CAPE PROVINCIAL ROAD TRAFFIC ADMINISTRATION ACT, 2012 (ACT 6 OF 2012):SAFETY OF CYCLISTS REGULATIONS, 2013

The Provincial Minister of Transport and Public Works in the Western Cape, under section 8(1)(c) of the Western Cape Provincial Road Traffic
Administration Act, 2012 (Act 6 of 2012), has made the regulations set out in the Schedule.

Definitions
1. In these regulations, any word or expression defined in the National Road Traffic Act, 1996 (Act 93 of 1996), or theWestern Cape Provincial Road
Traffic Administration Act, 2012 (Act 6 of 2012), has the same meaning and, unless the context indicates otherwise— ‘‘cyclist’’ means a person who rides or attempts to ride a pedal cycle; ‘‘National Regulations’’ means the National Road Traffic Regulations, 2000; ‘‘pedal cycle lane’’means any area forming part of a public road and which has been designated by the appropriate road traffic sign or road marking for the exclusive use of cyclists.

Duties of driver of motor vehicle when passing cyclists
2. (1) The driver of a motor vehicle who passes a cyclist on a public road must—
(a) exercise due care while passing the cyclist;
(b) leave a distance between the motor vehicle and the cyclist of at least one metre; and
(c) maintain that distance from the cyclist until safely clear of the cyclist.

(2) Despite any solid barrier line or other road traffic sign prohibiting encroachment upon the right-hand side of the road, the driver of a motor vehicle on a public road may, where the roadway is not wide enough to comply with subregulation (1)(b) or (c) when passing a cyclist, encroach on that part of the road to his or her right, but only if—
(a) it can be done without obstructing or endangering other persons or vehicles;
(b) it is safe to do so; and
(c) it can be done and is done for a period and distance not longer than is necessary to pass the cyclist.

Duties of cyclists
3. (1) A cyclist riding on a public road must—
(a) if the road has a pedal cycle lane, ride only in the pedal cycle lane and may not ride on any other portion of a public road except when crossing the road; or
(b) if there is no pedal cycle lane, ride—
(i) to the left of the left edge of the roadway; or
(ii) on the roadway, keeping as close as practicable to the left edge of the roadway.

(2) When riding on a public road, a cyclist must—
(a) give conspicuous driving signals as contemplated in regulation 300 and Part II of Chapter X of the National Regulations; and
(b) stop in the circumstances contemplated in regulation 307 of the National Regulations.

(3) A person may not ride a pedal cycle on a public road—
(a) on the right-hand side of a motor vehicle proceeding in the same direction, except when passing that motor vehicle or turning right at an intersection;
(b) abreast of another cyclist proceeding in the same direction, except when passing that cyclist;
(c) while wearing a headset, headphones or any listening device other than a hearing aid; or
(d) while carrying another person on the pedal cycle, unless that pedal cycle is specifically equipped to carry more than one person.

(4) A cyclist must exercise due care while—
(a) passing a motor vehicle or turning right in the circumstances described in subregulation (3)(a); or
(b) passing another cyclist in the circumstances described in subregulation (3)(b).

Lamps and reflectors on pedal cycles
4. (1) A person may not ride a pedal cycle on a public road or pedal cycle lane during the period between sunset and sunrise unless—
(a) the pedal cycle is fitted in the front with a head lamp capable of emitting a white light in accordance with regulations 158 and 178 of the National Regulations;
(b) the pedal cycle is fitted at the rear with a rear lamp capable of emitting a red light in accordance with regulations 158 and 178 of the National Regulations; and
(c) the head lamp and rear lamp are kept lighted.

(2) A person may not ride a pedal cycle on a public road or pedal cycle lane at any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavourable weather conditions, persons or vehicles on the public road or pedal cycle lane are not clearly discernible at a distance of 150 metres, unless the head lamp and rear lamp are kept lighted.

(3) A person may not ride a pedal cycle on a public road or pedal cycle lane unless—
(a) the pedal cycle is fitted on the front with a white retro-reflector in accordance with regulation 186(3) of the National Regulations; and
(b) the pedal cycle is fitted on the rear with a red retro-reflector in accordance with regulation 187(4) of the National Regulations.

Races and sporting events for cyclists on public roads
5. The Minister or the local authority concerned, as the case may be, may, in granting consent in terms of regulation 317(2) of the National Regulations in respect of a pedal cycle race or pedal cycle sporting event on a public road, exempt any person, or category of persons, taking part in that race or event from any provision of these regulations.

Offences and penalties
6. Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of these regulations commits an offence, and on conviction is liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year.

Short title
7. These regulations are called the Safety of Cyclists Regulations, 2013.