JOBURG CYCLISTS … CALL TO ACTION

The Pedal Power Association (PPA) is organising a memorial ride in conjunction with the New Horizons Cycling Club for the late Dr Willie Fourie and other cyclists who have died of their injuries after being hit by speeding, drunk or preoccupied drivers on Gauteng‘s roads. The ride, to be held on the 28th of July 2019, will start at the Terrazza Shopping Mall in Florida Glen and the PAA is urging all Joburg-based cyclists to participate in this strong response to an increasing social concern.
(Ride details below).

We will meet the MEC Transport Joburg, Mr Jacob Mamabolo, to hand over a document about the advantages of non- motorised transport and the safety of cyclists on the corner of Ontdekkers and Mouton Streets, Horison Roodepoort at 8h00 where we will place a ghost bike which is symbolic of cyclists dying on the roads.

“Too many lives have been lost and something needs to be done,” says Robert Vogel, CEO of the PPA. “Apart from paying tribute to those who have tragically lost their lives on the roads, we are calling on the authorities to take action in order to prevent further accidents from happening and to avoid any more fatalities.

“Motorists have to accept that cyclists have full and equal rights to share the road,” said Vogel, “and they need to make the same decisions when passing a cyclist, as they do when preparing to pass a motor vehicle. Drivers forget how vulnerable cyclists are and yes, cyclists aren’t always in the right, but in any confrontation with a vehicle they are significantly more vulnerable to injury.”

With this in mind, the PPA has compiled some valuable tips for drivers and cyclists when on the road:

TO MOTORISTS

Please share the road Courtesy comes free and leaves both parties feeling better. Acknowledge each other on the road and thank courteous behaviour. Everyone has the right to public roads and by law, a bicycle is a vehicle so please treat a cyclist like one.

Cyclists are vulnerable road users: Driving a hugely heavier vehicle and one significantly more powerful than a cyclist’s, means in any impact, the cyclists will be the loser.

Be aware and be patient: 84% of cyclist casualties in recent years were caused by careless inattention, mainly on the part of drivers. For several unplanned reasons, a cyclist may suddenly need to change direction, so be aware of any indications such as looking over a shoulder.

Allow plenty of space: When overtaking a cyclist, please give them at least a one-metre berth, but preferably as much room as you would give a car. Cyclists cannot keep too far left as it becomes dangerous and they may need to swerve to avoid hazards in the road. Always anticipate that there may be a pothole, an oily or wet patch, glass or some other obstruction in the cyclist’s path that you cannot see.

You can cross a solid line: Remember when you overtake a cyclist, you are allowed to cross the solid white line, but only if there are no oncoming vehicles and it is safe to do so.

Don’t drive too closely behind acyclist: You may not be able to stop in time if they come off their bike or do something abruptly. If the road is narrow and you want to pass, rather slow down and wait until there is enough room.

Drive slowly in restricted or low visibility conditions Remember that a cyclist could be around the next corner, so on rural roads or those with limited sight distance or low visibility, slow down when you are not sure what is on the other side.

Take care not to “door” cyclists: Dooring means to open your door into the path of a cyclist riding past.  Before opening your car door, please check if there are any cyclists coming up behind you. You could easily knock them off their bikes, causing serious injury or even a fatality. And it happens more often than you’d expect.

TO CYCLISTS

Obey the rules of the road: As they do, motorists rightfully expect cyclists to be courteous and also obey the rules of the road. As road users, cyclists should stop at all stop signs, red robots, and obey traffic signals.

Wear bright clothing: Make it easy for drivers to see you, wear bright colours and have reflectors and lights on your bicycle.

Use lights: Did you know the laws states that cyclist must use bike lights in low-light conditions? To increase your visibility, we would recommend you always use lights, regardless of the conditions.

Signal your intentions: as you expect drivers should do, as a cyclist, please indicate your intentions to turn clearly and timeously.

Wear your helmet: it is required by law and safety certified cycle helmets are designed to withstand head-on impacts at low speed. That said, remember that helmets don’t guarantee your safety. You are always vulnerable.

AWARENESS RIDE KEY INFO

WHEN : Sunday 28 July2019

WHERE: Terrazza Shopping Mall, 110 Lange ave, c/o Gordon, Florida Glen

TIME: 7:00 am

ROUTE: strava.com/routes/19882990

It is a relaxed-pace, 20km ride and all cyclists are invited to join. Please wear bright clothing and, should you wish to purchase a high-visibility “Stay Wider of the Rider” jersey, kindly contact Zarah on 021 671 3478 or zarah@pedalpower.org.za to arrange this.

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