New draft rules for Cape Town cyclists

Cape Town has drafted new regulations for cyclists and motorists to improve road safety in the province.

The new rules, now open to discussion, would form part of last December's Western Cape Provincial Road Traffic Administration Act, which is due to come into effect on 1 June.

The regulations would require drivers to leave at least a metre between the vehicle and the cyclist, and maintain that distance until safely past the cyclist.

The regulations would require cyclists to keep as close as possible to the left edge of the roadway; obey traffic signs and rules; fit and use effective front and rear lights when riding after dark and when visibility is limited.

Cyclists would also be prohibited from cycling on the right-hand side of a vehicle driving in the same direction, except when turning right at the intersection; cycling two abreast; cycling while wearing headphones or any listening device other than a hearing aid; carry another person unless the bike is equipped to do so.

The cyclists’ safety advocate group Ride Your City has given a guarded welcome to the proposed legislation although it had originally recommended a 1.5m-passing distance between cars and bicycles. However it says that if a 1m-distance is more likely to become law then it is a “best-value trade-off”.

For a cycling map of the city as well as safety guidelines and cycling tips see the Cape Town Bicycle Map