Monday, November 7, 2011

Cyclists should shift 'safety gear'

According to SWOV, the Dutch Foundation for the Research of Traffic Safety, it’s time for a culture shift: one should by now also confront cyclists with their behavior when they risk their own and other people’s safety. In such cases, not simply everything should be allowed. “Everything is permissible” was the cyclist’s slogan for many years “This created the notion that bicycle lights were superfluous; that it was normal to make a right turn on red; and in one-way streets it was taken for granted that bicycles could ride in the opposite direction. This form of civil disobedience led in the last two cases to the official adoption of these traffic habits. In addition to concern for the infrastructure, more concern for cyclists’ behavior is necessary in the interests of their safety. There has been much research into the effects of automobile driver behavior on traffic safety. The time has come to do the same for cyclists.” The number of cyclist fatalities declines slower than the number of fatalities for other traffic participants; the number of severely injured cyclists grows faster than the same for other groups, according to the SWOV. The SWOV intends to deal with this safety issue through the instigation of the “The National Cycling Research Agenda”. Read more here.

1 comment:

Chris said...

I do a multi-modal commute - I drive for part of it, park, and then ride the rest of the way on a folding bike that I keep in my trunk. So as both a driver and a cyclist, I do my best to follow the appropriate laws. But as a cyclist, I find that many drivers are impatient, do not know the laws, and engage in dangerous behaviour. And because cars are much bigger than bicycles, accidents are more likely to involve serious injury to the cyclist. I'm not sure that any amount of safe cycling is gong to be effective until drivers learn to better control their behaviour on the road.