Let's share the road responsibly

As much as drivers need to be more cyclist-aware, follow road rules and drive safely, the same holds true for cyclists being responsible and considerate towards motorists “We have come up with some top tips to help cyclists and vehicle drivers avoid conflict on our roads,” explains Steve Hayward chairman of South Africa’s largest cycling organisation, the Pedal Power Association.

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The PPA is committed to promoting the interests of cyclists and cycling as sport, recreation and a means of transport. Our influence and interest spans recreational road and off-road cycling events and initiatives; supporting cycling community projects; lobbying for the interests of cyclists' safety and rights; assisting communities to develop through cycling; and encouraging the youth to cycle. Our safe cycling campaign Stay Wider of the Rider has been hugely successful.

 

Here are our top tips to help cyclists and drivers avoid conflict on our roads.

 

Let’s share the road: Courtesy comes free and leaves both parties feeling better. Acknowledge each other on the road and thank courteous behaviour. As a driver you may think the road belongs to you but that is not true. Everyone has the right to public roads and, by law, a bicycle is a vehicle so please treat it like one.

 

What if you were a cyclist or a driver? Thinking like the other person will help to share the road safely.

 

Realise cyclists are vulnerable: You’re driving a vehicle hugely heavier and more powerful than theirs. In any impact, cyclists will be the losers.

 

Drivers and pedestrians have rights too: They have the right to expect cyclists to obey the rules of the road and to be courteous. Cyclists should stop at Stop Signs, obey traffic signals and respect pedestrians. Much like cyclists are vulnerable to vehicles, pedestrians are vulnerable to cyclists. Respect goes both ways!

 

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

 

Signal your intentions: Cyclists and drivers should clearly and timeously indicate their intentions. This is especially so when turning.

 

Appreciate that cyclists are helping you: Counter-intuitive to what you may believe, cyclists actually reduce congestion on the roads by not driving cars. They’re cutting the time you spend in traffic jams as they’re taking up so much less space.

 

Avoid ‘dooring’ cyclists: Dooring means to open your door into the path of a cyclist riding past. Don’t open any doors without checking there aren’t any cyclists coming up 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. It can also be fatal, and happens more often than you’d expect.

 

Be aware and be patient: 84% of cyclist casualties in recent years were caused by careless inattention mainly on the part of drivers. Whilst cyclists should ride responsibly they are far more vulnerable and a lapse of attention could result in a charge of culpable homicide!!

 

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Pay attention and be on the lookout for cyclists at all times, especially when turning or reversing. Use your mirrors because cyclists may overtake slow-moving traffic on either side. They may sometimes need to change direction suddenly, so just be aware of this and observe any indications they give such as looking over their shoulder. Don’t 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, an oily or wet patch, glass or some other obstruction in the cyclist’s path that you can’t see.

 

Don’t drive too closely behind a cyclist because you may not be able to stop in time if they come off their bike or do something abruptly. Unless you have an entire clear, empty lane in which to pass, slow down and wait until there is room to pass. Pass them slowly! Remember “Stay wider of the Rider

 

Drive slowly in restricted or low visibility conditions: On rural roads or those with limited sight distance or low visibility remember that a cyclist could be around the next corner. It could also be an elderly person, a child, an animal or a tractor turning into a field. Reducing your speed reduces the risk of something happening. You can’t see ahead on hills and in curves, so slow down when you’re not sure what’s on the other side. Make sure you can stop the car in half the distance you can see to be clear. At night the need to do so is even higher.

 

Cyclists have a right to claim the lane: Cyclists have as much right as you do to take up the entire lane. You may think they’re being utterly selfish by doing so, but in fact they’re preventing having an accident. They really aren’t trying to slow you down it’s just the safest way for them to cycle, particularly if there’s a blind bend, a narrowing of the road, a high risk junction, pinch point or traffic lights ahead. Additionally if there’s a narrowing of the road, they’re stopping you squeezing through far too cosily beside them. Cyclists should never cycle in the gutter because it gives no room for avoiding obstacles and leaves them no room to fall if an accident occurs, meaning they could go straight under your wheels – which isn’t terribly good for either party.

 

Get on a bike! Not until you experience what it’s like to be a cyclist on a busy road will you truly be able to empathise with them and realise how careless drivers can be at times. Cyclists can also be careless, but it usually ends in them getting hurt, not you!






25 Comments

Tubehunter, Dec 01 2015 04:39

I keep hoping the PPA have a bold campaign that says something more like:

 

"Can you guess how many motorists were killed or maimed by cyclists riding into them this past year? Imagine, we could say the same thing the other way round! Please do your part!!!"

 

Rinse, repeat of the last pointers they put out!

 

2015? Reflectors on a bicycle???? Which manufacturers (other than the makro numbers) still sell bikes with reflectors!

fandacious, Dec 01 2015 04:40

 

2015? Reflectors on a bicycle???? Which manufacturers (other than the makro numbers) still sell bikes with reflectors!

 

most of them - its law in some countries. So when they ship, they ship with reflectors on.

 

most people remove them (and the spoke protector)

Tubehunter, Dec 01 2015 04:45

most of them - its law in some countries. So when they ship, they ship with reflectors on.

 

most people remove them (and the spoke protector)

 

Eish, oh ja, the old legal angle No wonder they have to pay lip service to that!

 

Probably time that legislation gets updated to say reflector and\or visible lighting solution...

GaryvdM, Dec 01 2015 04:57

"Cyclists have a right to claim the lane" So I agree that this should be the case. But question: where do we stand with this from a legal point of view? As far as I am aware, there is nothing that specifically states this in the road traffic act. Is there case precedent for this?

Lefty V, Dec 07 2015 09:52

Rode up Chappies on Saturday and saw about 10 cyclists wipe their collective arses on a request by the guy at the roadworks stopping point for the cars to go first. A little consideration from our side would go a long way...

Cois, Dec 07 2015 10:11

And to the Mountain Bike guys in the east.  Please, think.  A RED traffic light does not mean you can carry on over the red light.  Saw two people yesterday skipping a red light down Lynnwood and then flipping off a car that had right of way to turn as well as a green light.

carbon29er, Dec 07 2015 11:35

"Cyclists have a right to claim the lane" So I agree that this should be the case. But question: where do we stand with this from a legal point of view? As far as I am aware, there is nothing that specifically states this in the road traffic act. Is there case precedent for this?

Specifically a pedal cycle is a vehicle as defined in Act (NATIONAL ROAD TRAFFIC ACT 93 OF 1996) and as such is allowed to ride on the road. Other vehicles may only overtake where it is safe to do so, at a safe distance. Accordingly you don't need case law, every vehicle is entitled to a lane.

 

There is no mention in the national act of keeping far left or riding in the gutter, common sense dictates that it is sometimes safer to do so.

 

In the Western Cape the regulations were amended for cyclists to keep as far left as is safe to do at the same time the 1 metre passing law was introduced.  However after a couple of years not a single driver has been charged with contravening this regulation, never mind prosecuted and found guilty.

RocknRolla, Dec 07 2015 12:10

But it is the general rule of the the road that all vehicles must keep as far left as possible, so as not to obstruct the free flow of traffic.

 

This claiming a lane while on a bicycle sounds to me like a bit of darwinism at work...

dirt-rider, Dec 07 2015 12:19

most of them - its law in some countries. So when they ship, they ship with reflectors on.

 

most people remove them (and the spoke protector)

 

Yip , unboxed two new 650b Merida a while back and it took me more than a hour to take of all the reflector ligths  :eek: . And as far as I know I know it is Law in THIS country as well .

Joe Low, Dec 07 2015 12:27

 

As much as drivers need to be more cyclist-aware, follow road rules and drive safely, the same holds true for cyclists being responsible and considerate towards motorists “We have come up with some top tips to help cyclists and vehicle drivers avoid conflict on our roads,” explains Steve Hayward chairman of South Africa’s largest cycling organisation, the Pedal Power Association.


Click here to view the article

 

 

 

That's good and I'm surprised this subject hasn't ever come up before on the Hub.

carbon29er, Dec 07 2015 12:30

But it is the general rule of the the road that all vehicles must keep as far left as possible, so as not to obstruct the free flow of traffic.

 

This claiming a lane while on a bicycle sounds to me like a bit of darwinism at work...

Incorrect. There is nothing in the act about slow moving traffic, or any vehicle, keeping "as far left as possible". There is also no reference at all to obstruction of the free flow of traffic.  It is courteous not to obstruct traffic, not a legal requirement.

 

Edit: incorrect is one word.

RocknRolla, Dec 07 2015 01:15

Obstuction of the freeflow of traffic could be deemed as inconsiderate, therefore making it illegal unlawful.

raptor-22, Dec 07 2015 01:20

It's really quite annoying that ppa insists on educating cyclists around their rights.
The bigger impact Is from the unlawful ignorant motorists.
Wtf is educating those idiots???!!!!

dirtypot, Dec 07 2015 01:24

Rode up Chappies on Saturday and saw about 10 cyclists wipe their collective arses on a request by the guy at the roadworks stopping point for the cars to go first. A little consideration from our side would go a long way...

 

I always let the cars go first up there.  I always grit my teeth when a car comes up behind me there because they always want to push past when there is only 10cm clearing distance...  Strava is auto paused anyway.

Plus, the cars always look happy when you wave them past while sitting on the side at the front.  Happy motorist, happy cyclist. 

dirt-rider, Dec 07 2015 01:30

It's really quite annoying that ppa insists on educating cyclists around their rights.
The bigger impact Is from the unlawful ignorant motorists.
Wtf is educating those idiots???!!!!

 

:blush: Seriaaas ?

porqui, Dec 07 2015 01:57

But it is the general rule of the the road that all vehicles must keep as far left as possible, so as not to obstruct the free flow of traffic.

 

This claiming a lane while on a bicycle sounds to me like a bit of darwinism at work...

 

Define "general rule of the road"

Nowhere in the law does it say "so as not to obstruct the free flow of traffic"

It does emphasize "when it is safe to do so" in many instances.

 

 

Did you know that it is illegal for cyclists to ride to the left of the yellow line but as a general rule we do so (?)

dirt-rider, Dec 07 2015 02:01

This little poem should be made a sticky topic !!!!!!

 

 Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old 

he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. 

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, why life isn't always fair, and how, on occasion, maybe it was my fault. 

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children are in charge) . 

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. 

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer aspirin, sun lotion or a sticky plaster to a student; but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion. 

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar can sue you for assault. 

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. 

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by three stepbrothers; I Know my Rights, Someone Else is to Blame, and I'm a Victim. 

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing. 

Author unknown 

EmptyB, Dec 07 2015 02:02

"Cyclists have a right to claim the lane".....said no motorist ever in the history of cars!!

RocknRolla, Dec 07 2015 02:17

These are always such fun topics.

 

I'm gonna end my participation by siding with Dirt Rider on the "common sense is not so common" side. And perhaps leave the darwinists to interperet the rules of the road as they see fit.

 

I am clearly not reading the same rules of the road as the other participants of this thread.

carbon29er, Dec 07 2015 02:24

Obstuction of the freeflow of traffic could be deemed as inconsiderate, therefore making it illegal.

You do not understand the law.  Nowhere in the Traffic Act is inconsideration taken into consideration.  A slower moving vehicle cannot be considered illegal because it is obstructing the freeflow of traffic.

 

Unfortunately a big part of the problem cyclists face on the roads is that motorists have no idea that cyclists have as much right to be on all roads as motor vehicles do. Except freeways.  And that cyclists do not have to ride in the gutter. But they do seem to be aware that cyclists must not ride two abreast.  Which happens to apply to cars too: You may not overtake a vehicle that is overtalkng another vehicle.

Duane_Bosch, Dec 07 2015 02:25

Rode up Chappies on Saturday and saw about 10 cyclists wipe their collective arses on a request by the guy at the roadworks stopping point for the cars to go first. A little consideration from our side would go a long way...

THIS!!!! A few weeks ago I rode up there on my motorbike and the cyclists JUST WOULD NOT make way. So we were forced to burble up that stop & go stretch at 12 kph behind ALL of the cyclists.

 

I'm not surprised most road users hate us.

RocknRolla, Dec 07 2015 02:29

You do not understand the law.  Nowhere in the Traffic Act is inconsideration taken into consideration.  A slower moving vehicle cannot be considered illegal because it is obstructing the freeflow of traffic.

 

Unfortunately a big part of the problem cyclists face on the roads is that motorists have no idea that cyclists have as much right to be on all roads as motor vehicles do. Except freeways.  And that cyclists do not have to ride in the gutter. But they do seem to be aware that cyclists must not ride two abreast.  Which happens to apply to cars too: You may not overtake a vehicle that is overtalkng another vehicle.

 

Consideration while using the road is taken into consideration.

 

I do however understand that my use of the work "illegal" in incorrect.

I shall edit my post to read unlawful.

RocknRolla, Dec 07 2015 02:40

Click Me

 

Specifically point 64 of Chapter 11.

Odinson, Dec 07 2015 02:41

You do not understand the law.  Nowhere in the Traffic Act is inconsideration taken into consideration.  A slower moving vehicle cannot be considered illegal because it is obstructing the freeflow of traffic.

 

Unfortunately a big part of the problem cyclists face on the roads is that motorists have no idea that cyclists have as much right to be on all roads as motor vehicles do. Except freeways.  And that cyclists do not have to ride in the gutter. But they do seem to be aware that cyclists must not ride two abreast.  Which happens to apply to cars too: You may not overtake a vehicle that is overtalkng another vehicle.

 

Section 64 of the NRTA

 

64. Inconsiderate driving
 
No person shall drive a vehicle on a public road without reasonable consideration for any other person using the road.
 
Carbon, irrespective of what any legislation or regulation says, when you're out on the road, it only takes one inattentive, drunk or spiteful motorist to turn you into a mincey red smear on the road. 
 
Thus, use your smarts and ride in a way that minimises the risk - don't expect motorists to look out for you. 

Tubehunter, Dec 07 2015 03:32

What rights do you have when you are dead?

 

Being right and doing the right thing are not equals!