While the health and fitness benefits of cycling continue to show their value to cyclists after every bike ride, there is a big concern for all cyclists when riding on public roads. Road safety and cycling is an ongoing concern, and this is not only limited to South African roads, but is evident around the world as well.
Cyclists – as well as pedestrians, runners, motorcyclists, and any other road users not protected by the structure of a motor vehicle – are known as “soft road users” and it is soft road users that come off second best when an accident with a motor vehicle, minibus, bus or truck occurs. For many cyclists, this deters them from using the roads these days.
While progress is being made on the protection of cyclists in the form of the “1 metre Rule – Stay Wider of the Rider”, it does not provide cyclists with license to abuse this rule. While feeling like a “safe” rule, it certainly does not provide any cyclist with a right of entitlement when embarking on a road ride. Ride within the yellow line and allow motorists the opportunity to pass safely with ample space when applying the 1m rule.
Cyclists are required to cycle in single file, which is required by law and is stated in the National Road Traffic Act 1996 (Act No. 93 of 1996) > Regulations > X > Part 1 > 311. Riding on pedal cycles.
“Persons riding pedal cycles on a public road shall ride in single file except in the course of overtaking another pedal cycle, and two or more persons riding pedal cycles shall not overtake another vehicle at the same time.”
We are hoping that the 1m Rule, which is currently only applied in the Western Cape as a provincial rule, will pave the way for the rest of the country to adopt and exercise.
Most cyclists (that are over 18 of course) are also motorists, and many motorists are cyclists, this is where the pertinence of “Think Bicycle” and perhaps even “Think Car” come into play. Ride or drive for the other person and it will change the way you adapt to road situations that arise.
As with any other road user in any type of vehicle, we need to encourage MUTUAL RESPECT for ALL road users.