There has been carnage on South Africa’s roads in recent months and Adam Brooke, along with a few other cyclists, have decided to take matters into their own hands.
“It’s got to a point where it’s enough,” said Brooke.
In 2015, according to Brooke, roughly 320 cyclists were killed in collisions with motor vehicles and last year more than 450 lost their lives.
“If that number keeps on increasing, we have to ask where and when it’s going to stop,” he said.
Brooke started initial discussions with Andrew Mclean and Deon Kruger in an effort to bring about positive change and organised a national safe cycling debate in Bryanston on Wednesday evening.
Forty people were in attendance – including representatives from the Road Accident Fund, Absa, RoadCover and Bidvest – and Brooke was positive about the outcomes.
“The thought at this point is to create a non-profit organisation to kick it all off.”
He explained the aim would be to make it a sustainable, nationwide campaign that was owned by cyclists.
“There are a lot of these initiatives out there, but they’re all very independent of each other, so our thought is to bring them all under one umbrella and unite it as a group.”
Next, he said, would be to take it one step further and present a plan to government to put the 1.5m rule into legislation.
“Then, if someone does knock over a cyclist, they haven’t just injured or killed someone, they’ve also broken the law.”
He admitted it was a “broad plan” with “a lot of work to do”.
“Those who have come on board have all been very supportive and Hollard agreed to pay for a full-time person to operate the NPO,” said Brooke.
This was a great step as he believed a full-time staffer would “give it the legs to continue”.
“We’ve also drafted what we call a declaration. It’s a 10-point statement that the riders will have to sign and the thought is to get them to actually take ownership.”
“It’s not a prerequisite, but we’d like to get it to a point where you can’t enter races in South Africa unless you sign it.”
Brooke stressed that the initiative was not only for “roadies” and that there were plans in place to create safe spaces for mountain bikers to ride too.