In April, Transport and Public Works MEC Robin Carlisle proposed draft legislation of a 1m passing distance between motorists and cyclists, although prior proposals referred to a 1.5m passing distance. Under the new law, motorists will be required to exercise due care when passing the cyclist, leave a distance between the vehicle and the cyclist of at least one metre and to only pass the cyclist if the road allows. But is this enough?
Motorists will, however, be allowed to cross a solid median line if needed in order to provide the necessary gap between their vehicle and the cyclist, provided it is safe to do so.
The draft regulations also include that cyclists will be banned from using headsets or headphones while on their bicycle, although an exception would be made for cyclists using hearing aids.
How else would cyclists be affected? According to the draft legislation, cyclists will be required:
- To keep as close as possible to the left edge of the road;
- To fit and use effective front and rear lights when riding in hours of darkness and in limited visibility;
- To not ride on the right-hand side of a motor-vehicle proceeding in the same direction, except when passing that motor vehicle or turning right at the intersection; and
- To not ride next to another cyclist going in the same direction, except when passing that cyclist.
Since 2011, PPA has been campaigning for a 1.5-metre passing distance as we believe CYCLISTS STAY ALIVE AT 1.5m. At one point proposals for a 1.5m passing distance had been sent to the Provincial Legislature for approval.
In Europe there are minimum passing distances set in a number of countries: In France the rule is that motorists need to give cyclists a minimum of 1m in towns where the speed is lower, and 1.5m on other roads and when the speed is higher. Germany and Spain go for 1.5m.
Comments on the draft legislation can be sent before 24 May to the transport and public works head at malcolm.watters@western cape.gov.za or fax to (021) 483-2166.
KOOS ROUX MEMORIAL RIDE
There will be a memorial ride for Koos Roux, who died on Sunday after being killed in a hit-and-run on Bottelary Road, on Saturday 18th May. Cyclists are asked to congregate at the Bellville Velodrome at 8am before heading out to Bottelary Road to the scene of the accident to lay flowers. The family has mentioned that Koos would have liked people who attend to wear their safe cycling jerseys in support. For more information please contact Morne on firstname.lastname@example.org
The funeral will be held at the NG Kerk Riebeek – Bellville at 15:00 on Friday 17 May 2013 – 2 Noord Straat, Crismar (c/o De la hay and Douglas Carr).