Cape cyclist killed – help protect cyclists!

I received this joint media statement this afternoon from “Future Cape Town”, “Open Streets” and Ride your City” relating to the terrible death of yet another cyclist on the roads of Cape Town.  My prayers and deepest condolences go to the family.

As a daily cyclist commuter to and from my office, and having done so frequently for several years now, and if not, then on my motorcycle, I am fully aware of the many challenges and hazards non-motor vehicle road users face every moment while on Cape Towns roads.

I appeal once more to all road users to take extra special care when around motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians and other non-motorised road users – all of whom are the most vulnerable.  Give them space, be patient and be aware that they may need to react suddenly, taking evasive action.

My thanks to these organisations for their efforts and commitments to action, for the sake of road user safety for all.  I will assist them by taking up these matters with the relevant Provincial and City government departments, primarily with Minister Carlisle and the Department of Transport and Public Works.   As the Chairperson of SCOPA, I will ensure that all relevant departments give account for their  use of public money to address this ongoing issue, and that they do so efficiently, effectively, equitably and ethically – for the benefit of all.

“The death of a cyclist near Kalk Bay this morning has caused shock and sadness in the Cape Town community, following an incident involving a Golden Arrow Bus.  As advocates for safe commuting and cycling, Future Cape TownOpen Streets and Ride your City have expressed their deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased. The organisations jointly ask for protection from authorities for cyclists and a commitment to safety from all road users, especially providers of public transport. “The safety of people in our cities must take priority over vehicles and buildings.  We will continue to advocate for the introduction of cycle lanes. In doing so, we support infrastructure for all forms of non-motorized transport, which can build a safe and coherent network in our city,” says Rashiq Fataar, MD of Future Cape Town.

“We urge all roleplayers and stakeholders in the public, private and civil society sectors, to step up their efforts and commit to safety on our roads and in our spaces,” says Fataar Transforming streets in Cape Town needs to transcend rhetoric about ‘sharing the road’ and promoting ‘non motorized transport’. “We need to do more to prevent such tragic and unnecessary deaths,” asks Marcela Guerrero Casas of Open Streets Cape Town. She says enforcement on the roads is essential. Cyclists and pedestrians have no shield besides the law to protect them. If those laws that should guard those most vulnerable on the roads are failing to protect us, citizens need to speak up.

“Sharing the road in a harmonious way is the ultimate goal, but in order to get there we need enforcement to help us save lives,” urges Casas. In seeking ways to address the situation, Gail Jennings of Ride your City has approach Golden Arrow Bus for an opportunity to discuss their commitment to the safety of all road users. We will continue to engage with Golden Arrow and other authorities to find meaningful solutions to this challenge, and welcome constructive debate around plans and proposals which already exist for improved non-motorized infrastructure in the Kalk Bay Area”

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