COVID-19: Rules for cyclists to minimise risk of infection

COVID-19: Rules for cyclists to minimise risk of infection

The Pedal Power Association have released tips to ensure cyclists are safe on the road and minimise the risk of contracting the coronavirus. 

Cyclist/ iStock

“As we reach 100 days of lockdown in South Africa, the message is simple - Stay home as much as possible, stay safe but do get outside for fresh air and exercise. Flattening the curve of infections is critical in enabling our health systems to cope and the regulations and recommendations are there to specifically slow the spread of COVID-19 which is reaching its peak.  So, we are reminding cyclists to be responsible and to please adhere to the instructions set out for the safety of themselves and everyone around them,” said Chairman of the Pedal Power Association, Steve Hayward.

"We wish to thank cyclists across South Africa for wearing masks/buffs and keeping a social distance when out riding to protect those around them. In the coming weeks, PPA will be handing out masks to cyclists along popular routes in support of social distancing,” Hayward continued.

“South Africa is still on level 3 of the COVID-19 lock down, which means that cyclists are free to cycle from 6h00 until 18h00 but please note that no more than 4 cyclists may ride together,” said Hayward.

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“There has been an increase in muggings across South Africa in the last two months, so we are asking cyclists to stay vigilant and not cycle on their own. Muggings are occurring along popular routes as well as on mountain trails, so please be careful and stay alert at all times. It is important to report incidents to the SAPS as it strengthens our case to have these hotspot areas patrolled,” Hayward continued.

Cycling is one of the most effective means of travel during and after the pandemic. Not only does it provide a really effective form of social distancing, it is also both economical and good for your health. According to Hayward, PPA spends millions of Rands every year to raise awareness of the need to keep cyclists throughout South Africa safe on the roads through media, awareness campaigns, and events.

 READ: Durban cyclist injured in M4 stabbing attack

Safety tips from the PPA:

Always observe government regulations re preventing the spread of the virus as well as the rules of the road.

Be sure to maintain social distancing and wear the mandatory mask/buff for the safety of yourself and others. PPA will be handing out masks to cyclists via brand ambassadors and cycle shops during level 3 lockdown, so be sure to be on the lookout for these along popular routes in Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Gauteng. These will be announced via social media.

Make sure you are visible on the road. There are a number of ways to increase your visibility when cycling. Apart from bright clothing, cyclists have the option of wearing reflective gear, especially when it is dark and during the shorter days of winter. Reflective bands worn around the ankles help your visibility and help keep you safe and should be worn in dark conditions. Back packs with reflective strips are ideal for commuting purposes.

When riding in the dark, lights are a legal requirement. Rear lights are essential to promote safer cycling as well as improve awareness among motorists. There is a plethora of rear bike lights available which can be used 24/7 to improve visibility in conditions such as fog, low light, and rain.

Obey the rules like any road user should. As a cyclist, you are required to obey the rules of the road. Although you have the advantage of being able to cycle in the yellow line or in bike lanes, you still have to stop at stop streets and traffic lights, giving way when you are required to, and being considerate towards your fellow road users, including pedestrians and drivers. By showing consideration you will help grow the respect that responsible cyclists deserve.

“Be sure to keep yourself safe on the roads and remember each one of you is an ambassador for cycling. This is a great responsibility; please do not take it lightly,” Hayward concluded.

Article source: Pedal Power Association

Image courtesy of iStock/ @Asawin_Klabma

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