The Herald VW Cycle Tour has joined forces with the Pedal Power Association (PPA) to promote “Safe Cycling” on the streets of Nelson Mandela Bay.
The Eastern Cape leg of the national awareness and lobbying campaign, which encourages motorists to keep a 1.5-metre distance from cyclists, was launched in Port Elizabeth this week.
According to The Herald’s chief marketing officer Justin Peel, creating a safe cycling environment was critical for both cyclists and motorists alike.
“Through this campaign, the Pedal Power Association is doing a phenomenal job in highlighting this worthy cause.
“We are extremely proud to be able to partner with and support this worthwhile initiative.”
Peel said an eye-catching 10-metre billboard had been erected on the corner of Strandfontein Road and La Roche Drive in PE, as well as on the outgoing road towards Uitenhage.
The core message of “cyclists stay alive at 1.5m” will be reiterated on lamp-pole advertising on major cycling routes throughout the city.
PPA chairman Stephen Hayward said the recommended distance was in line with international best practice.
“What we’re trying to do is make motorists more aware of cyclists. It’s a matter of tolerance; we’re not trying to force it down anyone’s throat.”
Hayward said the Western Cape became the first provincial government to sign it into law in November last year.
“They’ve only given us one metre but that’s the first step. That means that anyone who hits a cyclist in that province is now going to face the full wrath of the law.”
He said the Eastern Cape event, which takes place in Addo and PE on February 1 and 2, provided the ideal platform for launching their national lobbying campaign.
“If we can get every province to do what the Western Cape has done, it will go a long way in saving lives.
“Our plan is to take part in road races in every province and to hold a memorial ride ahead of each race in memory of those cyclists who have died.”
The “Safe Cycling” campaign, which was first launched in February 2012, gained nationwide momentum after mountain biking champion Burry Stander was killed during a training ride on January 3 last year.