Several complaints received from motorists and other road users have prompted Limpopo Athletics (Lima) to warn runners to be visible during practice at all times.
An open letter by a concerned resident issued to all local athletics clubs stated that the writer has on several occasions had to apply evasive driving techniques in order to avoid collision with runners.
“With the onset of winter and the resulting shorter daylight hours that will prevail during the coming months, I feel strongly that the issue of visibility be addressed. Clearly visible and reflective running apparel as well as being mindful of other road users, particularly during the hours before and after sunrise and sunset, would go a long way in preventing a serious accident,” the rletter read.
Lima Chairperson Leon Bannau said it was the responsibility of the management of clubs to keep their members informed with regards to safety. “Athletes should be encouraged to wear reflective bibs or waist belts whilst running on a public road. They should also run in a single lane facing oncoming traffic,” Bannau said, adding that runner safety and that of other road users must at all times be first priority.
Pietersburg Road Runners (PRR) Chairperson Colinda Potgieter confirmed that club members are regularly reminded of the need for visibility. “We would even go as far as making reflector clothing compulsory during practice. We pledge our cooperation in this matter but cannot take responsibility for athletes not being affiliated with the club,” Potgieter said.
Story: RC Myburgh