License fees for cyclists a must

2017-01-18 06:00

When it comes to fighting for road space, living in a city is a pain to say the least.  Motorists and motorcycle riders alike, continuously fight for dominance in traffic.  One can understand that being licensed as a road user, driving a car, bus, truck or motorbike affords you the same right to road use, but then of course you also get cyclists…

Many a plea has been issued by the cycling community to the public asking for consideration to cyclists.  It even stirred new pro cyclist laws into force in 2012 in the Western Cape.  Much has been done to avoid unnecessary deaths on the roads.

If you live in Cape Town, I am sure you would agree the worst road users are:

1.) Minibus taxis

2.) Cyclists

3.) Bikers... (but that's another story)

The WESTERN CAPE PROVINCIAL ROAD TRAFFIC ADMINISTRATION ACT, 2012 (ACT 6 OF 2012): SAFETY OF CYCLISTS REGULATIONS, 2013

Clearly states the most important rules for cycling:

1.) Motorists may not come closer than 1 meter to a cyclist.

2.) Cyclist may NOT ride abreast of another cyclist unless overtaking.

3.) Cyclist may not ride while wearing a headset, headphones or any listening device other than a hearing aid.

4.) Cyclist must keep as close as practicable to the left edge of the roadway.

5.) Bicycles must have lights on, front and back, between sunset and sunrise.

6.) Bicycles must have front and rear reflectors.

Reg 323 for rules on freeways – where cyclists are prohibited

(1)         No person shall operate on a freeway—

(a)       in a vehicle drawn by an animal;

(b)        on a pedal cycle;

(c)        on a motor cycle having an engine with a cylinder capacity not exceeding 50 cubic centimeters or which is propelled by electrical power or which is a vehicle as contemplated in paragraph (b) of the definition of motor vehicle in the Act; '

Yet, the problem remains.

1.) Cyclists do not obey the laws of the road and even think themselves above the law.

2.) Cyclists misinterpret the law by allowing themselves a meter from the left edge, plus having one or two and I have even seen, three cyclists cycling next to each other in a single lane.

3.) Cyclists do not stop at stop signs and red traffic lights.

4.) They regularly exceed the speed limit in town.

5.) They cycle on the freeway even though this is not allowed even for 50 cc motorcycles.

Of course not all cyclists fall into this category, but the majority who do, gives the sport a bad name and leave motorists fuming.

Where must we as tax paying road users drive?  Why must we endanger ourselves and our vehicles to oncoming traffic because you need a wider berth?  Why must we waste unnecessary fuel to and from work while constantly having to wait for you?  Why should we as motorists take the blame for knocking a cyclist over?

I say this is absolutely absurd...  It is high time that laws get passed at National level and enforce road tax and licensing fees on cyclists.  Who knows, maybe we can then build them cycle lanes everywhere with the fees.

If you want a say and be afforded the same rights as road users, you should also get trained and tested by the licensing authorities.  Failing that, motorists shouldn't be charged when cyclists get run over.

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