New kid on the block – Sharrow markings

It is an officially approved road marking that indicates to drivers and cyclists that this is a valid place for cyclists to travel on and it helps position the cyclists in the lane. These markings were trialled extensively here and abroad, and are now being used in countries like New Zealand, Australia, United States, Canada, and Europe.

                        This is a timely reminder for drivers that the main purpose of a roundabout is to keep traffic flowing on all approaches. There is no way it can function safely if drivers rush in at 50-60 kilometre per hour. Unfortunately, many of our older roundabouts have wide lanes, so drivers can easily get through at speeds of fifty plus.

The operating speed should be between 15 and 30 kilometre per hour. This will give cyclists a better chance to get through a roundabout without having to stop to cross at pedestrian crossing points. Slower approach speeds will give pedestrians enough gaps to cross safely. Another benefit of slower approaches is that other drivers may not need to stop completely. Drivers are startled when they are about to move into the roundabout and suddenly a vehicle rush in from the right.

Drivers, let cyclists in and give them space to get around the roundabout safely. Once they have exited the roundabout and are back in the cycle lane, drivers may pass them.

Cyclists should make sure they are clearly visible. There are various choices of safety gear on the market, which could help with that. Effective lights and bright coloured clothing are essential. Some of the latest gadgets are integrated light system fitted on the helmet. These systems even have turning and stop lights controlled by buttons on the handlebar.

For more information on some of these gadgets visit www.scrs.org.nz/  

Safer Journeys!

Daniel Naudé

Road Safety Coordinator