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We need to show each other mutual respect and follow the rules of the road says PPA

We need to show each other mutual respect and follow the rules of the road says PPA

The cycling community in Cape Town was devastated by the recent tragic death of upcoming cyclist, Calib De Kock from Bonteheuwel, who succumbed to injuries along Beach Road in Sea Point. The 17-year-old allegedly crashed into a car door which was opened unexpectedly.

“Vehicles do not become less of a risk once they come to a complete stop and parked in a parking bay. They then pose a completely different threat to cyclists. Dooring incidents occur when a vehicle occupant opens a car door suddenly, and is potentially devastating for the cyclist involved,” explained CEO of the Pedal Power Association, Neil Robinson.

Robinson said that the immediate physical trauma caused by a dooring incident can be enough to put someone in the hospital or kill them as the biggest risk relates to their momentum. They might strike the door hard enough for their momentum to force them over or around the door and out into traffic. Unfortunately, dooring incidents often lead to secondary collisions. Other vehicles approaching the area in traffic do not have time to respond when a cyclist suddenly flies into the street.

“Our ‘Stay Wider of the Rider’ safety campaign, which was launched ten years ago, constantly addresses road safety amongst all road users throughout South Africa. “We have spent millions on awareness campaigns to educate road users and to highlight the vulnerability of cyclists on the road,” Robinson commented.

“Please avoid distractions such as checking WhatsApp or social media messages. A split-second lapse of concentration could be fatal to another road user,” Robinson concluded.

The PPA has compiled some safety tips which could be helpful to motorists and cyclists. We  need to show each other mutual respect and follow the rules of the road.


  • Avoid ‘dooring’ cyclists. It can also be fatal and happens more than you would expect. Don’t open any doors without checking there aren’t any cyclists behind you. You could easily sweep them clean off their bikes and it won’t be pretty. Think about the width of your door when it’s open; you easily have a 1-1.5m mobile barrier swinging into the road each time you get in or out of the car.
  • Realise cyclists are vulnerable: Driving a vehicle hugely heavier and more powerful than a bicycle and in any impact, the cyclist will be the loser.
  • Please exercise some caution and be patient: 84% of cyclist casualties in recent years were caused by careless inattention, firstly by drivers, secondly by cyclists. Use mirrors as cyclists may overtake slow-moving traffic on either side. They may sometimes need to change direction suddenly, so be aware of this and observe any indications they give such as looking over their shoulder. Do not tempt them into taking risks or endanger them.
  • Allow plenty of space: When overtaking a cyclist, you’re required to give them as much room as you would a car. They may need to swerve to avoid hazards. Always anticipate that there may be a pothole, oily, wet or some other obstruction.
  • Please refrain from using your cell phone whilst driving.



  • Be sure you and your bicycle are as visible as possible when on the road. Wear bright clothing and use lights.
  • Always wear a helmet, no matter how short the ride is. It is the law.
  • As a legal road user, always obey the rules of the road.
  • Ride single file and use clear hand signals when turning. Most roads are extremely congested, so please keep a single file.
  • Don’t cycle on the pavement unless it’s a designated cycle path.
  • Do not cycle on highways or where cycling is prohibited.
  • Let’s promote a culture of caring. Acting like the road is your own personal raceway and everyone else is an obstacle, it just gives all cyclists a bad name.
  • Using a cell phone whilst cycling could have disastrous consequences.