AA Vulnerable road user project handover 2014
The AA hands over safety kits to bicycle users
In South Africa, many poor or previously disadvantaged people have no option but to use bicycles to commute to and from their place of work. Although in contravention of the South African National Traffic Act, these cyclists do not necessarily have the means to equip themselves with the required cycling safety equipment or reflective clothing.
The Automobile Association (AA) of South Africa identified this need and launched their Vulnerable Road User Project last year April, which aims to better equip cyclists with the necessary safety kit. To date 2 800 protective and reflective kits have been handed out to cyclists in seven communities, with 700 cyclists in the Zandspruit area recently being the recipients of these safety kits.
“It is frightening to think that in South Africa, at least 40% of all road fatalities and injuries come from the vulnerable road user group, which includes cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists. In 2010, 252 cyclists were killed and another 800 injured – further evidence that there is a need for safety equipment,” says the AA.
Through the AA Vulnerable Road User Project, busy cyclist routes in the Gauteng area have been identified and protective and reflective gear handed out to cyclists in need of safety equipment. The gear includes a high visibility reflective, reusable bag containing a safety helmet, high visibility reflective clothing and an information pamphlet, which educates cyclists on safe road use. Furthermore, bicycles are made more visible by equipping each one with reflective tape and a red LED rear light.
“The result of the project in its entirety is that significantly more cyclists in the various identified communities are now equipped with the correct cycling equipment, which has made them more visible and therefore safer on our roads,” concludes the AA.