The Tour Down Under is coming up this weekend after a two-year hiatus, bringing thousands of cyclists to South Australia from near and far.
With two-wheeled road users flocking to the city and our regions, RAA is calling on cyclists and motorists to respectfully share the roads in an effort to reduce road trauma.
Latest police figures show more than two crashes involving cyclists occur in South Australia every day.
RAA Senior Manager Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain said the internationally renowned event not only provides an opportunity to showcase the state but also how well motorists and cyclists can safely share our roads.
“SAPOL figures for the past five financial years show 3,734 crashes involving cyclists on our roads, which resulted in 60% of those (2259) sustaining an injury and 24 people losing their lives,’’ says Charles Mountain, RAA Senior Manager of Safety and Infrastructure.
“With the warmer weather comes a greater number of people out and about on their bikes, so we’re urging everyone to be vigilant, especially in the city streets with the festival of cycling about to commence.”
He said more than 1 in 10 crashes involving a cyclist over the past five years has occurred in Adelaide’s CBD.
“This is a busier time of year for people venturing out on their bikes, so we all need to be alert, regardless of whether we’re behind the wheel or the handlebars.”
“On roads where the speed limit is 60km/h or slower, the minimum passing distance is one metre.”
Mr Mountain also emphasised the importance of safely sharing the road in regional areas too.
“When you’re passing cyclists on the open road, leaving 1.5m distance between you is so important—and remember you can cross double white lines to do that, but only if it’s safe to do so.”
SAPOL data from 2017-2021 shows almost 1 in 4 crashes involving cyclists were side swipe crashes.
Mr Mountain also reminded motorists to be aware of the road restrictions in place during the women’s and men’s Tour Down Under races.
“If you’re heading out and about—particularly on regional roads—it’s a good idea to check the Tour Down Under website to find out where the race is likely to be so you can plan your journey around that.”
With South Australia’s 2023 road toll already off to a shocking start, Mr Mountain pleaded for widespread caution.
“It’s so important that all road users obey the rules, respect each other and share the road safely.’’