18 Nov 2016 PPA demands swift and decisive action after horrific cycling crash in Gauteng
The Pedal Power Association is demanding swift and decisive action after watching a video of Gauteng cyclist, Darryl Fitz-Gerald, who was struck down by a taxi driver on Wednesday morning.
“Seeing it for the first time and not knowing what happens at the end, we were expecting the worst,” explained PPA CEO Robert Vogel. “We have been on the phone with Darren and he was very lucky to get away with minor injuries. He spent the day after the incident recovering in bed and is on his feet again today, working through the aftermath of the crash,” said Vogel.
“We have made contact with well-placed officials in the National Department of Transport, Gauteng Province and the City of Joburg and have sent them the footage and asked them to familiarise themselves with the case and follow the process as it unfolds,” Vogel said.
“There needs to be swift and decisive action as well as consequences for the driver. In too many cases cyclists are treated with disrespect on our roads although they are the most vulnerable of road users. Motorists should take as much care in passing a cyclist as they would do when passing another motor vehicle. Both are legal road users,” he added.
In this case, the taxi driver was already breaking a number of road laws and seemed oblivious to the fact that there was a cyclist up ahead. The taxi driver was also endangering the lives of every other motorist on that stretch of road, his passengers as well as pedestrians on the side of the road. Statistics suggest that the number of unlicensed and un-roadworthy vehicles on our roads are on the increase.
“The time has come for authorities to take action and to enforce the traffic laws. Cyclists are human beings with families. They are training, going to work, riding to school, visiting a friend or just enjoying a different kind of mobility with no protection other than a helmet,” Vogel continued. He urged motorists to be more patient and to slow down behind a cyclist and only pass when it is safe, and to then make sure they pass with a berth of at least 1m.
The PPA says that they are aware that some cyclists also break traffic laws and that these rare actions tarnish all law-abiding cyclists. To ensure safer roads everyone needs to obey the rules of the road.
“The PPA will remain in touch with Darryl and will assist where possible to see that justice prevails,” Vogel concluded.