Paper presented at the 32nd Annual Southern African Transport Conference 8-11 July 2013 "Transport and Sustainable Infrastructure", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
Road safety is a major consideration in one’s decision to cycle and, there are various
factors influencing safety for a cyclist. A very important factor is road space, as most roads
in South Africa have not been designed and built to accommodate both motorised and
non-motorised transport; the roads are built around the needs of motorized modes of
transport and this has exacerbated the low modal share of cycling in South Africa.
Therefore the aims of this investigation was to find out what are the passing distances
between motorists and cyclists, how do these distances compare to the recommended
distances that should be given for cyclists in different driving environments and what
factors influence the passing distances such as gender, weather conditions, different types
To obtain the passing distances a survey was carried out. The survey was conducted by
means of collecting video footage. The footage by means of having a cyclist cycle along
selected roads, and the bicycle was fitted with a GPS and video camera, therefore as the
cyclist would cycle, the video camera would be recording footage of the lane in which the
cyclist was travelling and all motorists passing or overtaking the cyclist were recorded too.
The footage was then downloaded onto a computer and the VideoLan player used to
analysis and measure the passing distances.
The findings of the survey have revealed that the passing distances were less than the
recommended distances on the Pedestrian and Cyclist Facilities Design Guidelines.
This brings to question, is the fact that cycling has such a low modal share in South Africa
due to the fact the road users do not feel safe to cycle on the roads.
Recommendations regarding safe passing distance legislation are made based on the
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