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Riders cool to proposed cycling rules overhaul

Riders cool to proposed cycling rules overhaul

Published: 01 Nov 2012 13:23 GMT+01:00
Updated: 01 Nov 2012 13:23 GMT+01:00

Allowing children to ride bikes on sidewalks and more cycle-specific traffic lights are among several proposals in an inquiry presented to the government on Wednesday which has been criticized for not doing enough to improve the situation for bicycle riders in Sweden.

The report also proposes an additional one billion kronor ($150,000) in spending to help improve the country's cycling infrastructure.

Among the report's specific suggestions are new rules that would allow children up to 8-years-old to ride their bicycles on sidewalks and compel cars to give way to cyclists at designated crossings.

The inquiry also proposes making it easier for cyclists to ride against traffic on one-way streets.

The report also calls for the installation of new traffic lights specifically for bikes; however Kent Johansson, the Centre Party MEP who led the inquiry, clarified that the changes would not include allowing cyclists to break any existing traffic rules, such as riding against red lights.

“You have to follow the traffic signals. It’s important to have clear, strong messages in the traffic environment,” he told the TT news agency.

However, the proposal has been criticized by the cycling advocacy group Svensk Cykling, with the chairman of the organization Klas Elm labelling the proposal as “lame” and a “huge disappointment”.

Furthermore, the Swedish Automobile Association (Motormännens Riksförbund) said it would be “unfortunate” if the proposal led to the development of a parallel set of bike-specific rules on Sweden’s roads.

“Ambiguity will only lead to more accidents,” Maria Spetz, spokeswoman for the organization, said in a statement.

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Your comments about this article

18:45 November 1, 2012 by johan rebel
Instead of trying to reinvent the bicycle wheel, they should just learn from the Dutch, who well know what it takes to create a traffic environment attractive to cyclists.

Having said that, alllowing cyclists to ride against traffic is an excellent idea that has worked just fine in Holland for many decades. Same goes for giving cyclists a headstart at traffic lights.
20:49 November 1, 2012 by Jules
"You have to follow the traffic signals. It's important to have clear, strong messages in the traffic environment," he told the TT news agency.

"Ambiguity will only lead to more accidents," Maria Spetz, spokeswoman for the organization, said in a statement.

And allowing cars to turn right into pedestrians crossing on a green man light does that? Must be the most stupid road traffic law ever.... also whats with Swedish drivers never indicating? it seems that once they have passed their test they just forget what that little stick does!
21:39 November 1, 2012 by Abe L
Nothing is being done to improve the situation for people driving cars either, what make bicycle rider so special?

Also one billion kronor is not the equivalent of $150,000.
22:14 November 1, 2012 by dizzymoe33
In the US bicyclists have to obey the same traffic laws as a car/truck. We have designated bicycle lanes in most areas now for them but that is all no special treatments. We share the road with them.
10:22 November 2, 2012 by RobinHood
@Jules

I always thought giving drivers and pedestrians a simultaneous green light on a crossing was a bit mad too. Particularly from an organisation (Vägverket) that claims to be aiming for a zero deaths policy.
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