With cycling fatalities, a growing concern in South Africa, Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire is committed to raising awareness around the dangers of cycling on national roads and urging cyclists and motorists to adhere to road traffic regulations.
Bakwena Public Relations Officer, Charmaine van Wyk, says Bakwena has noticed an influx of cyclists onto the N4 route, particularly between Pretoria and Rustenburg. “Firstly, it is illegal for cyclists to use South Africa’s freeways and people caught doing so can be fined in terms of the regulations.
“Secondly, and more importantly, it is extremely dangerous for cyclists to use freeways. There is a misconception that the national freeways are safer for bicycles. The truth is cyclists put themselves at greater risk of serious collision due to the higher speeds that motor vehicles can travel on freeways up to 120km/hr.
“When motor vehicles travel at high speeds, visibility of bicycles becomes an issue and drivers do not anticipate encountering cyclists on the freeway. This is exacerbated at night when visibility is poorer.
“Research indicates that if collision speeds exceed 45km per hour, there is a less than 50% chance that the cyclist will survive. While helmets offer some protection, cyclists need to adhere to roads rules and make sure they are constantly aware of what is happening around them,” says van Wyk.
An additional, a number of disobey the rules of the road creating a bad image in the eyes of motorists for all cyclists. “This means they are often treated with indifference by motorists, which increases the chance of collision,” says van Wyk.
Safety tips for cyclists
- Always wear a helmet to protect your head
- Wear reflective clothing for increased visibility
- Plan your route and choose roads are not so busy
- Always be aware of your surroundings
- Never listen to music while cycling
- Make sure your tyres are pumped
- Always check that your gears and brakes are working properly
- Obey the rules of the road
- Do not ride on freeways