Request to celebrate Festival of Cycling safely in 2021

WHEELS IN MOTION: Santos Festival of Cycling police commander issues safety tips for everyone ahead of races. Photo: Barossa Herald archive
WHEELS IN MOTION: Santos Festival of Cycling police commander issues safety tips for everyone ahead of races. Photo: Barossa Herald archive

Santos Festival of Cycling action kicks off Tuesday with bike races travelling through the state including popular regional destinations, the Barossa and Fleurieu Peninsula.

There will also be a number of family and spectator events being held as part of the cycling festival.

Police Commander for the event, chief superintendent Stuart McLean said there is great anticipation for this event.

"After what has been a challenging 2020 which has seen some events unable to take place because of COVID-19, I know many South Australians and interstate visitors are really looking forward to going along to events like the Santos Festival of Cycling, enjoying local South Australian produce and relaxing with family and friends."

"We are keen for people to celebrate safely."

Responsibly, the event, he said, will be abiding by a COVID-19 Management Plan, meaning those who attend must abide by plans in place by the event organisers to ensure their safety and that of others.

"Things will look different this year compared to past cycling events and it is vital visitors follow COVID-19 safe practices and directions," chief superintendent McLean said.

"Please also remember to scan the QR code when entering the venue."

SA Police further recommend:

  • Do not leave bags unattended, even if only to walk a short distance to get food or beverages.
  • Plan your transport ahead if you intend on drinking. Organise a ride share, Catch public transport or car pool with a mate.
  • For those driving to and from the event, be patient and allow extra time to navigate road closures and possible delays.
  • Look out for your friends and family.
  • Report any suspicious behaviour immediately on the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or in an emergency please call Triple Zero.
  • Stay hydrated particularly as we are now experiencing warmer days and nights.
  • Before leaving the house, check the event's website regarding any changes at the event as well as the SA Health website for any updates regarding COVID-19.

Things will look different this year compared to past cycling events and it is vital visitors follow COVID-19 safe practices and directions.

Police Commander for the event, chief superintendent Stuart McLean

Motorists and other road users are particularly urged to be extra vigilant and patient on the roads, with this time of the year naturally bringing out more cyclists which means an increase in risks on the roads.

In 2020, two cyclists lost their lives on SA roads and 73 were seriously injured, with two of the serious injuries taking place during the 2020 Tour Down Under event.

Cyclists are also reminded to obey the road rules for their own safety and the safety of those around them.

In 2020 76 expiation notices were issued to cyclists with the most common offence being failure to wear an appropriate bicycle helmet, followed by the next most common offence being riding a bicycle at night without a front white light.

A few safety tips for cyclists to remember:

  • Keep to the left and ride at least one metre clear of the kerb and parked cars.
  • Look for people opening car doors in front of you.
  • Make sure you can be seen during the day, wear bright coloured clothing, at night wear light-coloured clothing and use a white front light and red rear light.
  • Riding two abreast is legal.
  • Ride predictably in a straight line and signal your intention to turn or change lanes.

SA Police will deploy a highly visible presence over the six days of the event to preserve the inclusive, family-friendly atmosphere of this festival.

There will be a number of road closures associated with this event and the public are encouraged to visit www.tourdownunder.com.au/about to find out more about these closures and the event.

This story Stay safe, enjoy Festival of Cycling first appeared on The Murray Valley Standard.