The Botswana Cycling Association (BCA) is concerned over the number of cyclists who are knocked down by motorists and will hand over a petition to the Minister of Transport and Communications seeking improved protection.
The move comes after one of their experienced members, Warren February, was knocked down and killed by a motorist last weekend. BCA secretary general, Tlamelo Dube said although he could not delve into the contents of the petition, the association would not take the matter lying down.
Dube said: “In Botswana cyclists are not properly recognised, even pedestrians. It’s like only motorists own roads, but it should not be like that.
“Before we hand over the petition, we will host an awareness ride from the West Gate Mall to the Phakalane traffic lights this Saturday. We will ride from 7am and will host a moment of silence in remembrance of Mr. February at the spot where the accident occured.”
Dube, however, could not state the number of deaths involving cyclists but said they had recorded quiet a number over the years.
“I am not quite sure, but we had a similar incident two years ago and before that we had another one five years ago. Over the past 10 years, I would say we lost maybe about four cyclists due to motorists knocking them down,” he added.
A memorial service was held yesterday for the late February at Cresta Lodge in Gaborone.
“One death is one too many, what happened to February could have happened to any one of our cyclists,” Dube said at the memorial service. “The time of the accident is the time usually most riders are on the road.”
Founding Tsela Riders president, Thea Khama said she had a similar accident where her riding partner lost her life after being knocked down by a motorist.
“We intend to use Warren’s tragic death to talk to the authorities about cyclists safety,” she said.
February, 49, died on Saturday near Sebele after being knocked down by an on coming vehicle. The suspect was expected to appear before court this week and faces a charge of causing death by reckless driving.