City of Cape Town Traffic Bylaw 2011 – what (if anything) does it mean for bicycles?

A new bylaw to reduce road fatalities as well as improve the management of all public transport vehicles and interchanges has been passed by the City of Cape Town. The bylaw, called the [City of Cape Town Traffic Bylaw 2010] ‘provides for the regulation of public transport vehicles and traffic within the area of jurisdiction of the City of Cape Town’.

It’s not about cycling, but I thought it would be interesting to read the City’s definitions of ‘vehicles’, as this determines to a great extent the rights and responsibilities of cyclists.

So far so good: a “driver” means any person who drives or attempts to drive any vehicle or who rides or attempts to ride any pedal cycle or who leads any draught, pack or saddle animal or herd or flock of animals…

But then it gets a bit more confusing:

“motor vehicle” means any self-propelled vehicle and includes— (a) a trailer; and
(b) a vehicle having pedals and an engine or an electric motor as an integral part thereof or attached thereto and which is designed or adapted to be propelled by means of such pedals, engine or motor, or both such pedals and engine or motor, but does not include—
(i) any vehicle propelled by electrical power derived from storage batteries and which is controlled by a pedestrian; or
(ii) any vehicle with a mass not exceeding 230 kilograms and specially designed and constructed, and not merely adapted, for the use of any person suffering from some physical defect or disability and used solely by such person.

Does this mean that an electric bicycle is a ‘motor vehicle’ – and therefore requires a licence? But has all the other privileges of a motorised vehicle? And what type of motor vehicle is propelled by pedals?

OK, this is pretty clear: “non-motorised vehicle” means a vehicle or device utilised for land road based transport for the conveyance of goods or passengers, which is propelled either, solely by animal power or by human power or a combination of human power, assisted by an alternative source of power or provided by any form of fossil fuel…

Actually, is it that clear? A vehicle ‘utilised’…’ for the conveyance of goods or passengers’. What about bicycles designed to convey only the ‘driver’? This doesn’t fit into the definiton above?

It seems as if the matter of ‘driving’ on road shoulders is cleared up… I recall an article in Bicycling magazine in 2008, which maintained that it is illegal for a cyclist (as a defined ‘driver’) to ride on the shoulder. This clarifies it, I think – depending on whether cyclists fall into the definition of ‘driver’ here – cars and bicycles may be ‘driven’ on the shoulder if they’re being overtaken, and that’s almost always the case with a bicycle [except down Ou Kaapse Weg at rush hour, when it’s easy to overtake around 40 cars in a few minues ;-)]
Driving on shoulders 34. (1) Subject to subsection (2), no person shall drive a motor vehicle on the shoulder of a public
road.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the driver of a motor vehicle may, during the period between sunrise and sunset, drive such motor vehicle on the shoulder of a public road which is designated for one lane of traffic in each direction—
(a) (b)
(c)
while such motor vehicle is being overtaken by another vehicle;
if he or she can do so without endangering himself or herself, other traffic, pedestrians or property on such public road; and
if persons and vehicles upon a public road are clearly discernible at a distance of at least 150 metres.

The Bylaw also prohibits driving and using a cell phone, which I suspect includes cycling and texting/talking…

So, let’s see…

Advertisements

RECENT POSTS

GoMetro, Metrorail’s mobile info service, looks back on its first 30 days in action

Thirty days ago, as part of Metrorail’s “Programme of Action” initiative, Metrorail Western Cape partnered with South African technology start-up company, mobi.lity, to launch Go Metro – a digital resource for commuters to have more control in their journey when travelling on Metrorail trains in the Western Cape. The first month has seen the mobi-site […]

Giving infrastructure projects a green rating: how to design ‘green’ from the inside out

As we face significant challenges issues such as climate change and global warning, it is clear that the engineering profession has a significant part to play in influencing the future of our planet. Whatever we may think about environmental responsibility, we can be sure of this: that we all need, and will continue to need, […]

Fuel-cell cargo bike could power your lights and TV too

Locally designed hydrogen-powered tricycle – named ‘A hi Fambeni’, Xitsonga for ‘Let’s go’ – has attracted much attention since its 2010 launch in South Africa as a sustainably powered goods-to-market vehicle for rural areas. It’s also an entry into the international SMART Mobility EnterPrize competition, which aims to identify existing and emerging sustainable mobility business […]

Comments

  1. Michael Wood says:

    To answer your question about motor vehicles being propelled by pedals, see this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moped

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: