The Street Code is your guide to responsible cycling etiquette – a code of conduct that fosters mutual respect between cyclists, motorists and pedestrians, making Cape Town’s streets better for all.
As cyclists we can lead by example, cycle responsibly and become ambassadors for safer and more livable streets. Let’s get started – follow the Street Code!
Pedestrians always have the right of way. Yield to pedestrians, whether they are using the pedestrian crossing or not.
Leave pedestrian crossings free and clear for safe walking. Stop behind the line and don’t block the crossing.
As a cyclist, you need to obey all the rules of the road – stop at stop signs and red lights, just like all other vehicles.
In South Africa wearing a helmet is law for both adults and children. Helmets can save your brain in a crash. More on Helmet Law.
Claim space on the street, not the pavement. It’s illegal to ride your bike on pedestrian- only pavements. Bicycles are allowed on any road open to cycling except for freeways. Use cycle lanes where available.
Ride in the same direction as traffic. If you end up on the wrong side of a one-way street, rather walk your bike on the pavement. Cycle on the left-hand side of vehicles, unless passing or turning right.
When cycling on shared paths, slow down and be courteous and patient with other path users. Look out for kids, the elderly and people with disabilities. Follow our tips for cycling on shared paths.
Give clear hand signals to let drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists know where you are heading.
Be predictable and ride in a straight line unless avoiding hazards or passing.
Be visible and stay safe at night. You are required by law to fit and use a front white light and rear red light when riding in the dark or when visibility is limited. Bicycles must also be fitted with a front white reflector and a rear red reflector.
Make sure you can hear the road users around you. It’s illegal to ride while wearing headphones or any listening device other than a hearing aid. If you need to use your cell phone, rather pull off to take the call – it’s safer too.
Having a bell or horn lets people know you’re approaching or passing, and it’s fun to make some noise! Always be aware that some people are hard of hearing or visually impaired and may not see or hear you.
By law motorists are required to give cyclists a minimum of 1m passing distance. To make it easier for motorists to pass, cyclists are required to ride in single file and keep as close as practicable to the left edge of the road. Always cycle safe and if needed ride away from the edge to avoid hazards or vehicle doors.