Extra precautions taken to ensure the safety of KZN cyclists

2014-11-17 00:00

CYCLING has become increasingly dangerous in KwaZulu-Natal in recent years, with incidents involving cyclists being injured and killed on roads on the increase.

The province’s cycling groups said they have taken extra precautions to ensure their safely on KZN roads.

East Coast Cycling Club’s Andy Kudla said they have had to change their routine to ride during the early hours of the morning to avoid traffic.

“Cyclists are not respected by motor vehicle drivers and very often we are side-swiped by them,” he said.

Kudla said they also faced the dangers of drunk drivers during the early hours of the morning.

Top SA cyclist Nolan Hoffman, who was based in Durban but relocated to Johannesburg recently, said people have to go out of their way to train or cycle. He still regularly trains in Durban.

“A lot more people are joining the sport but people have to buy proper gear in order to make themselves visible,” he said.

President of KZN Cycling Greg Stedman said they had to go to extreme measures to keep safe.

“Even if we are cycling during the early hours of the morning, we get a car to drive behind us to ensure our safety.”

He said they always insist on cycling in groups and that along with other road users, bad quality roads had also been a danger.

“We know of cyclists who have been severely injured after falling into pot holes,” he said.

He said when they chose routes, they tend to find roads with the least amount of traffic lights and ones that are not busy.

“We go to places out of the city when we are training, like Tongaat, which also have a few traffic lights,” he said.

He said there had also been many new devices to help the safety of cyclists.

“There is a new light that was developed which flashes brighter and faster when a car is nearing a bicycle from gaging the distance between,” he said.

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