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PPA FOCUS ON VULNERABILITY OF CYCLISTS ON THE ROAD DURING TRANSPORT MONTH

PPA FOCUS ON VULNERABILITY OF CYCLISTS ON THE ROAD DURING TRANSPORT MONTH

Cycling is one of the most affordable means of transport and great for exercising and is becoming more and more popular so there are many more cyclists out there.  With this in mind, the Pedal Power Association (PPA) will be running a number of initiatives during October which is Transport Month in South Africa.  Emphasizing that “Cycling is part of the solution” as a mode of transport in South Africa the PPA “Stay Wider of the Rider” campaign, will focus on the vulnerability of cyclists on our roads. 

For drivers the key message of this initiative will be to “give cyclists space when passing them or wait until you can do so”. “Everyone has been practicing social distancing during COVID lockdown so all we are asking motorists to do is to apply the same principle when passing a cyclist,” explains Chairman of the PPA Steve Hayward. As part of its campaign bumper stickers are being handed out to motorists in Cape Town, Durban, Gauteng – (JHB and Tshwane) as well as Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth at busy cycling intersections from 26 to 31 October.

PPA will also be distributing high visibility clothing at selected locations.  “Visibility is key to staying safe on the road and in collaboration with the RAF our team will be handing out reflective bibs as well as masks to commuters in Masiphumelele and Khayelitsha in Cape Town, Zandspruit and Mamelodi in Gauteng, Walmer Estate in Port Elizabeth and in Bloemfontein,” Hayward said.

In line with its nationwide Stay Wider of the Rider mission to educate all road users Hayward has some crucial safe-cycling tips to follow and share with others:

1.    Be visible: Wear bright clothes so that drivers can see you – anything neon is great during the daytime. When turning, be sure to signal to drivers and make eye contact when possible. Ride in a straight, predictable line so that you don’t take any drivers by surprise.

2.    Be especially careful when riding at dawn or dusk: It’s best to avoid cycling before sunrise and after sunset, but if you do cycle when it is dark, be sure to wear reflective gear and have lights on your bicycle. If you are riding at dawn or dusk be aware that motorists may be blinded if they are travelling directly into the sun – keep as far left as possible.

3.    Check your bike: Before you head out, check your tyre pressure and brakes to make sure everything’s in order. This way there’s less of a chance of technical malfunction that could jeopardize your safety.

4.    Ride in groups if possible: More and more cases of muggings and bike jacking are being reported to the PPA from across South Africa. Try to slot in with a local WhatsApp group for your own safety. Obey the law and do not ride two or more abreast unless overtaking another cyclist.

5.    Wear an ID bracelet: Most of them have an emergency number to call should you need medical attention. It also makes it easier to contact your next of kin should you be out riding alone.

6.    Do not use your cell phone: Just as when you are driving your car, don’t text or call whilst riding. Rather stop to take or make a call.

7.    Wear a mask or buff whilst riding: Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, it is mandatory for all cyclists to wear a mask or buff whilst out riding.

“Let’s share the road and be part of the solution not the problem ” says Hayward. “Courtesy comes free and leaves both parties feeling better. Acknowledge each other on the road and thank courteous behaviour,” Hayward concluded.