Nearly two decades on from the death of Amy Gillett, the grief is still raw for her mother, Mary Safe. 

“The death of a child at any age is a grief like no other, you never forget,” she said.

“You have the memories that live on, that’s how you remember your child.

“It’s a very difficult thing.”

Amy Gillett was struck and killed by a car whilst on a training ride with the Australian Cycling team in Germany in 2005.

Mary Safe continues to fight for road safety.(ABC News: Carl Saville)

In 2006, her family established the Amy Gillett Foundation, which was responsible for several successful cyclist campaigns including A Meter Matters.

“From Amy’s death there has become a lot of positive things that have come from that, [including] cycling awareness for people,” said Mrs Safe.

The foundation has recently shut down due to a lack of funding.

“The foundation meant a huge lot to my husband and I. It was a working memory of Amy’s life,” Mrs Safe said.

“We are immensely sad and devastated at what’s happened, I’m not sure where cycling advocacy in our country will go but whichever way it goes I would like to support that movement.”

But Mrs Safe has now teamed up with not-for-profit organisation the Get Home Safe Foundation in a bid to educate drivers to make a simple change when getting out of their vehicle.

The practice is called the ‘Dutch Reach’, and it recommends drivers use their left hand to open the car door so they turn their head to look over their shoulder and are therefore more likely to see a cyclist riding past.

It is aimed at reducing the chances of a car door colliding with a cyclist.

“The Dutch Reach is in the SA Driver’s Handbook, it’s not a law but it is recommended, but not many people are aware about it,” Mrs Safe said.

The Dutch Reach recommends drivers open their car door with their left hand so their head turns over their shoulder.(Supplied: Amy Gillett Foundation.)

“We are hoping to get that out to all learner drivers.

“I am doing presentations to various groups in the community, older drivers perhaps who aren’t aware of it … trying to move it forward.

“Cyclists are still being injured and killed on our roads, so there is a great need for advocacy work to go forward.”

Funding secured for Amy Gillett Bikeway extension

Meanwhile, a funding agreement has been reached to build the fourth stage of a bikeway named after Amy Gillett in the Adelaide Hills.

The project received $2.6 million from the federal government in 2020, and $2.6 million from the state government in 2022.

The Adelaide Hills Council has now agreed to contribute the $500,000 required to fund the fourth stage.

The council’s acting mayor, Nathan Daniell, said the announcement was welcomed by many.

“I’s been a long time coming, our community have been advocating for this extension for about 10 years now and it is pleasing to tell them it is going to happen now,” he said.

Nathan Daniell says the community has welcomed the announcement of funding for the fourth stage of the Amy Gillett Bikeway.(ABC News: Nethma Dandeniya)

Mrs Safe said her family were “extremely grateful”, and said many people had “lobbied long and hard” for the fourth stage.

“There is a lot of happy people as a result of that announcement,” she said.

Mrs Safe said her daughter would have loved the bikeway.

“Amy loved little children and seeing little ones on their bikes up there with mum and dad teaching them … I think that would fill her heart with joy,” she said.

The Adelaide Hills Council said the fourth stage of the Amy Gillett Bikeway is expected to be completed by mid next year.

Funding and designs for the final stage of the project, to link the bikeway to the existing Barossa track, continues to be negotiated.