Cycling Safety Alert: Westville/Durban M19 Blair Athol Road Bridge

Cycling South Africa would like to inform our members in the Durban/Westville area to please exercise particular caution whilst cycling along the M19 highway and surrounding areas (this is the Westville area of Durban), as there has been reported incidents of attacks on cyclists.

In the most recent incident, Vaughn Cronje of the Mr Price Westville cycling club was very seriously attacked on the top of the M19, in the vicinity of the Blair Athol Road bridge, on Sunday 27 July 2014.Cronje was apparently cycling alone to meet with other cyclists for a morning ride, but when he stopped to attend to a puncture, five males subsequently attacked him. Cronje suffered serious injuries and is currently in ICU at the Westville hospital.

This is not the first incident involving five males attacking cyclists on this route. In one of the reports, five males in a bakkie attacked a cyclist.

Cycling South Africa’s Safety Commissioner, Craig Proctor-Parker, said: “Cyclists are soft targets, not only as road users in terms of accidents, however as is evident, vulnerable to attack. This is very often heightened by the hours at which cyclist typically make use of the roads, particularly for those commuters that leave in darkness in the early hours of the morning (i.e. during winter) or during evening hours on the homeward journey and are often required to pass through areas that are unlit and remote."

Below are some safety reminders for cyclists:

  • Always try and ride in groups, even if commuting to and from work 
  • Always try and use areas that are well lit and remain away from remote, secluded and known high risk areas 
  • Be aware of where you are and aware of escape routes and assistance options such as nearby garages, security guards or even residential properties to ask assistance of 
  • Always let someone know your general route and general times of departure and arrival 
  • Always make use of headlights and taillights, a wise option even during daylight 
  • Try not to carry unnecessary cash and other items such as jewellery that may make you a target 
  • Always carry some identification on you such as a CSA License / Club card, medical aid card or the like 
  • Ensure that you bicycle is in best condition possible to avoid unnecessary stops

We wish Mr Cronje a speedy recovery and would like to thank all that were in any way involved in assisting with the incident. We plead with anyone that has any information on the incident and or that if anyone comes across the stolen bicycle, to please bring this either to our attention, or to the attention of the SAPS.