Warning: obey rules of road

By Caryn Dolley

Motorists need to be tolerant of cyclists and cyclists need to be vigilant and obey the rules of the road.

This is the warning from the Pedal Power Association and provincial traffic department, which fear that as more cyclists take to the roads in final preparation for next month's Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, more will become accident victims.

In the latest incident, a hit-and-run in Ou Kaapse Weg in Fish Hoek, 68-year-old Ren Brand was seriously injured.

He is one of at least four cyclists who have been involved in accidents involving vehicles in the past two months.

Brand is in Groote Schuur Hospital being treated for a broken right leg and bruises on the rest of his body.

Brand and a friend were cycling early on Saturday when a car, apparently a Toyota Corolla, smashed into him.

Yesterday police spokesman November Filander said Brand's friend had not seen the car, but its number plate had fallen off in the accident and police were tracing the driver.

Pedal Power Association chairman Steve Hayward said more cyclists than usual were using the roads at the moment as they were preparing for the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, which takes place on March 14.

"What we need at this time of the year is a lot of tolerance. Cyclists usually start out at dawn, first light, which is about 6am, to avoid busy roads. And this is often when hit-and-runs occur.

"This is when people usually come back from nightclubs and lose control of their vehicles," he said.

Hayward urged cyclists to wear bright clothing so that they were easily visible.

He said cycling with a partner or a third person made cyclists more visible, but Hayward warned cyclists to keep in single file as this was in accordance with the law.

Hayward repeated that cyclists who spread out and rode in a group or a "clump" were breaking the law and also endangering themselves.

He appealed to traffic officers to clamp down on motorists breaking the law, especially at dawn, as well as cyclists committing offences.

Provincial traffic spokesman Xenophone Wentzel said officers had begun concentrating on cyclists.

"When you are out there as a cyclist, keep in mind that there are other people on the road.

"Most people cycle in the early morning and in the evening... Motorists also need to be cautious," he said.

Just 10 days before Brand was injured, a cyclist was seriously injured in Stellenbosch, on the R304. A truck apparently went over his legs after he fell off his bicycle.

Less than a month ago a cyclist was killed near George when he was struck by a car.

On Christmas Eve last year a couple were killed when a truck slammed into their bicycles outside Mossel Bay.


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