24 Feb 2023 PPA WANTS ALL ROAD USERS TO SHARE THE ROAD AHEAD OF THE 2023 CAPE TOWN CYCLE TOUR
With the 2023 Cape Town Cycle Tour less than three weeks away, thousands of cyclists are out preparing for this iconic world cycling event. Cyclists are vulnerable road users and when motorists forget to share the road with cyclists, pedestrians, and runners, serious and fatal crashes happen. Cyclists also need to commit to sharing the road and respecting other road users in return.
The PPA recently received very negative feedback from participants in the Cape Peninsula Marathon, which took place on Sunday 19 February, pointing out that cyclists disrespected road closure instructions and disobeyed rules of the road during the event. Runners were pushed aside by cyclists getting too close to runners and weaving their way in between runners which could have had devasting results. “ We are asking cyclists out training to please respect other road events and to always abide by the rules of the road, “ says PPA CEO Neil Robinson. “We all enjoy our individual sports on the road so please let’s all be mindful, respectful, tolerant, and considerate of other road users using the same space. The road is a shared space where all road users have rights and responsibilities. Verbal abuse from both motorists and cyclists doesn’t help any situation,” explains Robinson.
“Cycling is an important part of life in Cape Town – a growing number of us depend on it as a form of transport, while others enjoy their leisure time on a bike. The Cape Town Cycle Tour is an international event hosting cyclists from around the world and the country. As we welcome them back to Cape Town, we call on all Capetonians to help us make this a memorable and safe Cycle Tour. Cyclists, who are putting in their last bits of training for this iconic event, please always stay single file and please only use roads that legally allow for cyclists and let’s show respect to other road users and change the impression other road users might have of cyclists”, he says.
The Cape Town Cycle Tour, which takes place on Sunday 12 March 2023, will see well over 20 000 cyclists participate on the day. Like all other sporting events, it supports our tourism industry and the many jobs it creates whilst contributing to Cape Town’s economy.
“As the Pedal Power Association, we see cycling as an important part of South Africa’s transport solution.” says Robinson. “Our ‘Stay Wider of the Rider’ campaign asks drivers and cyclists to take steps to avoid incidents. In South Africa, bicycles are bound by the same laws and courtesies as motor vehicles. Being considerate and alert on our roads is a shared responsibility. For drivers, the key thing is to give cyclists space when overtaking them, or wait until it is safe to do so”, Robinson comments.
The Pedal Power Association reminds motorists to be on the lookout for cyclists and to avoid crashes by applying the following rules:
- When turning left, indicate early that you are turning and always check behind your vehicle on your left for cyclists proceeding straight that you may cut off as you turn;
- Don’t underestimate the speed of a cyclist approaching from the opposite direction, and don’t attempt to turn quickly in front of them. Cyclists travel at up to 30km/hour and even faster on a downhill;
- Do not pass cyclists unless it is safe to do so. If having to wait behind cyclists a short hoot will alert them to your presence;
- Give cyclists at least one-meter space when passing, and even more in wet weather. Cyclists may have to swerve unexpectedly to avoid an obstacle such as glass or a manhole that you as a motorist may not see;
- Look out for cyclists before opening your door and exiting your car;
- Do not park or stop in cycle lanes. It is illegal and puts cyclists in danger when passing your vehicle.
- Always obey the rules of the road
- Don’t drink and drive
For cyclists remember the following safety tips:
- Be visible: Wear bright clothing so that drivers can see you. Avoid cycling before sunrise and after sunset, but if you do ride after dark, always wear reflective gear and switch on your lights for extra visibility;
- When turning, signal to drivers and make eye contact when possible. Ride in a straight, predictable line so that you don’t take drivers by surprise;
- Check your bike: Before heading out, check your tyre pressure, and brakes to prevent a malfunction that could jeopardise your safety;
- Ride in groups if possible: More cases of muggings and bike jackings are being reported daily. Connect with other cyclists on Whatsapp for your safety and join Pedal Power’s group training rides on Saturdays.
- Avoid riding in the early morning. Many fatal hit-and-run crashes take place between 04h00 and 07h00. Also, avoid riding into the rising or setting sun – drivers may not see you.
- Don’t use your cell phone: It is illegal and unsafe, rather stop to take or make a call in an area safe to do so.
- Report crashes and muggings to the SA Police Services and the Pedal Power Association. WhatsApp our hotline on 081 0439890.
- Avoid hotspot areas if cycling alone. Lone cyclists are easy targets for criminals.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Riding with earphones is illegal and reduces awareness of what is happening around you.
- Practice extra caution when approaching intersections and don’t assume drivers will stop at traffic lights or stop streets. Rather slow down than be involved in an incident.
- Ride in single file and always obey the rules of the road.
The Pedal Power Association has supported cyclists in South Africa for almost 50 years. As one of the largest cycling organisations in South Africa we uphold the rights of cyclists and the vision of a ‘cycling South Africa’ where the safety and security of cyclists in all communities are ensured.
Cycling has an important role to play in the health and well-being of individuals and our society. As a clean and green form of transport for commuters, sports, and leisure riders it makes an essential contribution to the quality of life.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Contact Liz Heydra 0722552458 firstname.lastname@example.org
FB @pedalpowerassociation @staywideroftherider
Twitter @PedalPowerPPA @safecyclists
Instagram @pedal_power_association @staywideroftherider