As the number of cyclists increased on the roads, so has the number of fatalities, the Automobile Association (AA) said on Wednesday (17/10/20112).
"In an average year, at least 40 percent of all fatalities and injuries come from pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists,” said Automobile Association managing director Karen Bryden.
"During 2010, 252 cyclists alone were killed and an estimated 800 more injured.” While it was compulsory under South African law to wear protective headgear when riding a bicycle, many cyclists travelled without the necessary protective clothing which helped make them more visible to traffic.
For some, cycling was the only option of transport, while for others, the continued rise in fuel prices made it a more attractive alternative for road users.
Sharing the common road space invariably led to conflict between different types of vehicles and put the unprotected road users at greater risk.
The AA and the Road Accident Fund had joined forces to promote awareness on cycling safety and encouraged the wearing of effective protective gear in an attempt to reduce the number of crashes involving cyclists, Bryden said. - Sapa