Suns out, bikes out – but all road users need to take more care

20 September, 2023

Tragically, five cyclists have lost their lives on our roads so far in 2023 – more than twice as many as this time last year – prompting calls from RAA for all road users to exercise more caution on our roads.  

SAPOL data also shows there have been 57 serious injury crashes involving cyclists so far in 2023 – the same as the total for 2022. 

As more cyclists takes to the road as the weather warms up across the state, RAA is reminding all road users to take more care on our roads. 

RAA Senior Manager of Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain said the number of lives lost on our roads this year was unacceptable. 

“Everyone on our roads has a responsibility to do the right thing and adhere to the road rules,” Mr Mountain said.  

“Cyclists, like pedestrians, are vulnerable road users so we’re urging everyone to take extra care around cyclists and pedestrians.  

“We want everyone to follow the road rules and exercise patience so we can all get home safely to our loved ones.”  

RAA is also urging all cyclists – both seasoned or novice – to conduct regular bicycle maintenance to increase safety and bike efficiency.  

The reminder comes after RAA’s Bike Education program during the first school term of the year checked over 575 bicycles at 12 primary schools across the state, highlighting key issues:  

  • 281 bikes had flat tyres or required tyre inflations  
  • 152 had brake related problems including broken or faulty brake cables and pads 
  • 213 presented without a bell which is required by law 
  • 109 did not have reflectors or lighting, required by law  

Mr Mountain said there are many simple maintenance procedures that can be undertaken. 

“Conduct a check before and after your ride, which can be simply lifting your bike very slightly off the ground and whilst holding the bike allow it to bounce on the ground to hear for any loose parts,” Mr Mountain said. 

“The first thing before hopping on a bike is checking the tyres before and after each ride to ensure they remain inflated to the correct pressure according to the manufacturer’s recommendations – which is usually located on the outer wall of the bike tyres.  

“If a tyre is continually flat, check for signs of a puncture of cracking on the side walls, and consider repairing the tyre or replacing – and also observe there is sufficient tread. 

“It is paramount that brakes are adjusted and operating correctly for the safety of all road users. 

“Check the brake cables for damage and check they are operating effectively and check your brake pads or discs for any wear or damage regularly.