• Sweden's news in English

Rear-ended cyclist fined for veering off path

TT/The Local · 29 Sep 2010, 14:49

Published: 29 Sep 2010 14:49 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Andreas Grass, a competitive cyclist, faced charges of “travelling on a prohibited carriageway” after refusing to stick to a bicycle path in Lund in southern Sweden.

Grass has now been fined 500 kronor for his indiscretion, reported the local Sydsvenskan daily, while the court has meanwhile cleared a motorist who faced charges for having driving into him from behind.

Grass was taken to task in October 2009 by a motorist who waved instructions at him to move to the cycle path. But the 32-year-old stayed on the road and cycled through a roundabout. He then moved out into the middle of the roadway to avoid being overtaken on a narrow stretch of road immediately after the roundabout.

“That seemed to provoke him because he honked his horn again. In the end he chose to drive into me from behind,” he told the Expressen newspaper when charges were brought in June.

Grass fell to the ground and suffered grazing to his shoulder and knee. He reported the motorist to the police for negligence and fleeing the scene. But the driver also filed a report, complaining that Grass had cycled on the road despite the fact that there was a designated path for cyclists.

Story continues below…

When he was hit by the vehicle, Grass was just about to make a left turn on a stretch of road where the cycle track was partly closed.

Grass has furthermore explained that as he regularly travels at speeds of around 40 kilometres per hour, he believes it is often safest to avoid cycle tracks, which he claims are often populated by careless pedestrians and slow-moving cyclists who forget to signal.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

16:06 September 29, 2010 by eppie
Sweden is a very bicycle unfriendly country. Bike lanes in Stockholm are a joke; sharp curves, sudden endings, road markings that are 10 cm thick, and the two most important facts; swedes can't drive (cars) and traffic police doesn't exist, or I have just never seen them.

Cycling to work every day (around 7 km) I see on average 5 cars jumping a red light, 3 cars parked on the bike lane, I get cut of twice, 96 % of car drivers doesnot use indicator lights and 100% doesnot use rearview and side mirrors.

Of course also 50 % uses there telephone while driving but that is allowed in Sweden (just as it is in Albania).

And of course swedes drive too big cars. Rule 1; if you can't drive, for sure don't drive a big car.
16:26 September 29, 2010 by RoyceD
get hit by a car and you get fined 500kr... nice job sweden, way to grasp justice...
16:38 September 29, 2010 by crofab
Why was the driver not prosecuted for assault? This makes no sense...
16:43 September 29, 2010 by William Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha
Another ruling I don't understand. There was a cycle lane, I get that. They think he should have been using it, I get that too. Honking and then running into him from behind, huh? Does this mean cyclists who don't use the cycle paths are now fair game?
16:51 September 29, 2010 by engagebrain
even if the cyclist should not have been on the road, it is hard to understand how attacking someone with a car is not an offence.
17:19 September 29, 2010 by RobinHood
Welcome to Sweden, where deliberately driving into somebody with your car is appoved by the state, and the victim fined.

Is there anybody out there who thinks this is OK?
17:38 September 29, 2010 by BillyB
Good. should have been more.

1. He should not have been on the road to start with

2. There was a cycle path which he should have been on

3. He intentionaly tried to anger the driver by blocking him from over taking.

If a car was messing about on a cycle path everyone would scream and shout about it.

People on bikes also have to follow the rules, they dont have some free right to do what they feel.

The driver should have reversed back and had another go.
17:38 September 29, 2010 by Liquidmonkey
since when is rear ending anyone or anything OK???!??!!??!?!?

once again the justice system fails.
18:25 September 29, 2010 by N18h7m4r3
Next time I will simply run over a pedestrian if he is crossing the road without a pedestrian crossing and I won't complain if somebody climbs over my car while I am driving on a pedestrian road/lane.
18:49 September 29, 2010 by RoyceD
@ BillyB

If a car was messing around on the cycle lane you dont see sane people go and drive a bike into it.

In a rational country the driver would have lost his license for 6-12 months with a fine to cover the bike damage and personal damage to the cyclist.

If someone is using their own physical power to transport themselves around I think it is the duty of the person with the easier mode of transport to give way. What is the worse thing that happens, you are 10 seconds behind where you would have been?
19:33 September 29, 2010 by mojofat
Ahh...bicycles aren't meant for roads? Who knew!
19:52 September 29, 2010 by David S
Let me get this straight - cycling on a road is "travelling on a prohibited carriageway"???

It's illegal to cycle on roads in Sweden?
22:22 September 29, 2010 by tuerd1982

"Sweden is a very bicycle unfriendly country."

I don't know where are you from and how many country have visited so far. For me Sweden is very bicycle friendly country compare to 26 provinces of China, MIlan and Rome of Italy, Lyon of France.

I agree with your other comments. There are quite many people doesn't care about traffic rules out side the city center.

My personal opinion for this case is, both driver and cycler are guilty. First cycler are so reckless, he actually not only put himself in danger but also some one else too. Driver is also too bad, actually I call him a neuropathy. What ever cycler take his way he should not do like that, it actually like planned killing.
00:01 September 30, 2010 by fantasyfreddy
That motorist should be prosecuted for attempted murder, because that's what he did.
00:22 September 30, 2010 by LordSqueak
It does not matter what the cyclist did, or did not do, or even if he was biking with a huge sign saying "death to car drivers". Attacking someone with a car is definately not OK.
02:11 September 30, 2010 by Beavis
Were talking about the carriageway in Lund here not Stockholm...

This cyclist is an idiot, he is well known in the area for frequently holding up traffic with his ego. On that strecth of road there are practically no pedestrians and very few cyclists. This is not the first time its happened with him.

He needs a few large fines to sort him and his ego out as he is a danger to himself and other road users. Its a pity the car didnt hit him harder!
03:28 September 30, 2010 by Tdye
God i love Sweden! man i cant wait for the chance to move there! its simple folks from what i read you cant ride a bike on a road way...simple the dude on the bike was at fualt..clearly there is a law saying that you must ride your bike on the bike path...had the guy been on the path he wouldnt have gotten hit.:to the people that defend the bike rider...the law is the lawyou should respect it..here in the states, we have some bike paths and when we dont BY LAW we have to follow the same rules as cars and trucks... Bike riders get no special treatment.,next time the bike rider may follow the rules...
06:18 September 30, 2010 by NovaLand
A couple of weeks ago, there were a lot of traffic (like it always is on sunday nights) from Norrtalje to Stockholm. The road there have this system where there are 2 lanes for a couple of kilometers and then one lane for a couple of more and back again to two lanes (and then back to one again and so on).

Since the traffic more or less stood still, the second lane could be use to overtake a lot of traffic and in some cases make people angry... OR it could be filled up and merged into one lane later on again so no one can overtake anything really.

Now this was this guy who thought he wanted to become a traffic police and make sure no one overtakes anything, so he took his car to the middle of both lanes and didn't move at all more than necessary to keep up the pace with the right lane.

So when i tried to overtake him anyway (there was still room for another car), he tried to push me into the wire fence.

I could imagine this guy to be that bicycling guy.. what a jerk! Some people just tried to act as a law in the traffic, making their OWN laws. I, for one, is glad it came to this outcome. The law clearly says that you should not interfere with other traffic (not speeding up when other traffic tried to pass you and so on).
07:24 September 30, 2010 by granskare
in Colorado, some bicycle riders believe the roads are for them alone...they ride up upon 'High Grade Road' google for it, and after they've done their deed, the return going downhill on a narrow road with shoulders...several have paid with their lives or with serious injuries...groups of the worst use lands of people who are next to the road as their toilets...recently the Boulder club organized rides in the area...somehow the hills near Boulder are not adequate. Also they are to ride single file as most do but the few - relatives of this Swede?, will not yield the road.,..even with the 'no passing stripe'

in the center of the road...the county has made 'rumble stripes' on the center lines...so if you are an obnoxious biker, this is for you :)))
07:25 September 30, 2010 by seagull
Both should have been fined, the driver possibly with a ban. The cyclist was in the wrong (not being on the road, but certainly when he moved to the centre of the road), but the car driver was dangerous. Or is it now okay to attack someone (with intent to harm) for annoying you?
07:52 September 30, 2010 by wabasha
I do everything that cyclist did everyday i ride to work. I'm fully aware that cars are slow to react and this can happen to me. as should anyone trying to save a few minutes off their commute by riding in and out of traffic. you mess with the bull, you get the horns! pay the 500kr
08:04 September 30, 2010 by RobinHood
I think some people here have misunderstood the consequences of this decision. It is a traffic offence to ride your bike on the wrong part of the road, but in a civilised country, it is a very very serious crime to deliberatly ram someone with a heavy and lethal metal object (unless he/she is acting in self defence). It is irrelevant where the victim happens to be, or what he/she happenes to be doing at the time.

In this case, a motorist deliberately ran into a cyclist with his car, and injured him. The state then approved his actions. The clear message to motoring Swedes is that if you see a pedestrian or cyclist on a part of the road where he/she is not supposed to be, mow him/her down with our blessing. What happens when a child wanders into the road? Is it OK to run him/her down too? I assume now that it is. The Death Race movies spring to mind, but that was supposed to be fiction. No one thought a country like Sweden might actually be mad enough to make it come true.

This is the law of the wild west. IIs this really the kind of society you guys want to live in?
09:16 September 30, 2010 by eppie

Many countries, among which the south of Italy. And although there is another kind of danger there, swedish car drivers are actually more incapable than Italians.

At least in Italy they don't pretend to be bike friendly by putting down a few crappy bike lanes. (my comment about sweden was of course a bit exagerated because of the fact that sweden pretends to be such a clean and sensible country).

I bike around 5 days per week for almost 30 years now, and Stockholm is bad. Of course if you want to go and compare it to China.....but I like to compare rather to countries which are really comparable....not 3rd world countries.

For the rest, (after reading the comments of some here), saying that because the guy should have been on the bike lane it was good to hit him is just insane. If you like that kind of justice move to Iran.

If I kick of the mirror of every car in STockholm I see on a single trip to work that does something that is not allowed in traffic, I will have to kick of around 300 mirrors......I wonder if that would earn me your respect?
09:43 September 30, 2010 by Serendipitiz
Maybe a lesson to cyclists to stay on their paths and leave the roads to the cars? We drivers put up with enough C*@p as it is, with roads being narrowed for cycle lanes, extra tolls to use the roads we have paid for, and cyclists who think they own the roads. All I can say is - if you mess with a 1,5 ton car, it's your prerogative. But remember that you will always lose that fight, and it's far more fun to be wrong and alive than right and dead (no, am not promoting a GTA version of mowing them down, but trying to prevent accidents!)
09:53 September 30, 2010 by Giacomino
Right or wrong, no one should be allowed to take the law into their own hands! What, in this case, would have happened if the cyclist had been killed?
10:07 September 30, 2010 by BillyB
Most people seem to be missing the point that its was the cyclist who claimed to have been hit on purpose by the car and for that reason the courts were involved.

The article only has the story from the cyclists point of view.

The court cleared the motorist not because they thought is would be a laugh but because evidence presented was presumably contrary to the cyclists bias opinion.

the true course of events could very well be that the cyclists in his attempts to antagonise the driver broke hard to slow the car down and the car could not slow down as quick as the bike.

Believe me, there are people that stupuid out there.

Its only one persons view that he was hit on purpose, dont be so stupid to assume it must be true because its on a news article on a website!
10:27 September 30, 2010 by joeyt
The cyclist was hit from behind because he veered left while being overtaken. In such a situation, the driver of the car is not at fault, especially since he signalled in all possible ways his intention to overtake. Even if you are in a car, you don't change lanes if you see somebody overtaking you. And yes, technicalities like this are winning litigations.

In this situation it was also impossible to prove that there was any intention to "ram from behind". Most likely the situation was ruled an accident, created by the cyclist, hence the car driver was let go without any fine or punishment. Which is fine if you would understand the law. Sometimes you have to be able to see through all the drama that the media usually creates around this kind of situations.
11:17 September 30, 2010 by Frobobbles
Let's get two things straight. One: the cyclist deliberately drove in the middle of the road so no car could pass. Two: when a car tried to overtake him by driving on the left side of the road, the cyclist chose to drive over to the left side to stop him, instead of letting the car pass.

Then understand that the cyclist is well known for doing like this, day after day.
13:05 September 30, 2010 by marionb
The article is based on a direct quote from the cyclist: "That seemed to provoke him because he honked his horn again. In the end he chose to drive into me from behind," he told the Expressen newspaper when charges were brought in June.

The operative words are "seemed" and "chose". On looking further, one can see that the court ruled it was an accident.

Beware of articles that pretend to be based on fact but are structured to encourage emotional reaction only.

I miss real journalism.
15:09 September 30, 2010 by bob3000
@marionb #29

Well put.

So many opinions here are based upon reading only this article - and let's face it, it is very thin on actual facts.
17:15 September 30, 2010 by RoyceD
facts - guy got hit by car and paid 500kr fine.
17:36 September 30, 2010 by BillyB
Fact - a guy caused an accident by having total disregard for road safety rules put there to protect him and purposefully engineering a situation where a collision was going to occur.

Fact - the 500kr fine should have been more and he should have his picture on billboards all over the city with "Imbecile" in big bold letters.

Whats next? "its the train drivers fault i was hit when i laid on the tracks?

Its the hunters fault i was shot when i dressed as a elk and ran through the woods in hunting season?

Its the Bus companys fault for having a bus stop at the part of the road i decided to drive off onto the path and hit it.....
22:43 September 30, 2010 by GefleFrequentFlyer
Ok, sure, this was some sensational journalism, looking for a rouse, but I still find it funny that it fits with the TL's meme of sweden's justice system "punishing the victim".

Ha ha ..
13:44 October 1, 2010 by RoyceD
Actually BillyB you seem quite adequate at showing that you know little to nothing about what a fact really is.
14:22 October 1, 2010 by tadchem
That is truly 'adding insult to injury.'
14:40 October 1, 2010 by patbreslin
The Swedes drive very close to the vehicle in front so maybe the above was an accident. Or maybe the cyclist slammed on the brakes.

In any case it'll teach the cyclist some manners.
15:10 October 1, 2010 by russcelt
So many people have been bullied for so long they are no longer interested in the facts and justice, but retribution. I call the cyclists 'Lycra warriors' and they've diced with death until their survival instinct has become corrupted. Cyclists and motorists do not mix well do to the extreme difference in vehicle performance and in some cases operator attitude. Similar to fatalities involving cars and commercial vehicles. A 'AAA' study published in Canada revealed that in 70% of the incidents it is the car driver who is substantially at fault. The survivor of a fatal encounter is not always the guilty party as the Left wing health and safety extremists would have us believe. We should all be lobbying for a coherent cycle pathway system to minimize vehicle conflict. But if we spent tax money on rationally improving infrastructure it wouldn't go into the pockets of the bureaucrats or the police.
15:23 October 1, 2010 by J Jack
Ha Ha, good job! Raise the fines to 5000.
19:26 October 1, 2010 by nledit
Why are so many people saying that the biker was wrong. It just goes to show the uneducation on biker etiquette. First, all of you who are saying the biker was wrong to be in the road, do you want a 40km/hr biker riding on a sidewalk where your kids, who just learned to bike this year, are practicing? Or should the kids be in the street where there is more room??? Is it ILLEGAL for a biker to ride in the street?? no. 2nd, just because he moved to the center does not mean he was antagonizing the driver. If a biker feels it is too dangerous or if he is about to make a turn (as he indicated), it is his right to move over until it is safe. Third, I wonder if the car was speeding to catchup to and pass the biker, seeing that I can run faster than the speed limit on most roads in Stockholm, the car was probably not being held up by a road biker. Most importantly, right or wrong, how can any of you say it's ok for a car to intentionally hit a biker or pedistrian?? "oh, sorry, I dont like girlscout cookies and dont want them coming to my door and bothering me so I shot her in the leg with my shotgun". same rationale.
21:11 October 1, 2010 by Iraniboy

"Sweden is a very bicycle unfriendly country."

From more than 15 countries in Europe and North America I visited, Sweden is the most friendly country for riding bicycle!
21:56 October 1, 2010 by Beavis
nledit your clueless! Here in Europe we have things called cycle tracks that are not meant for pedestrians or cars! Yes it is illegal for the bike to be in the middle of the road! This is not the USA sucker!
10:19 October 2, 2010 by CameraMan
"Whats next? "its the train drivers fault i was hit when i laid on the tracks?

Its the hunters fault i was shot when i dressed as a elk and ran through the woods in hunting season? "

These arguments are invalid. The driver of the car in this situation purposefully drove into the cyclist, knowing full well what he was doing. That is called dangerous driving. Not to mention being mentally unstable.

What it boils down to is this - the car driver was rewarded for physically harming someone else.

If the cyclist had fallen, hit his head and died would people still be on the car driver's side?
22:04 October 2, 2010 by Beavis

If I waslk down the middle of the E4 motorway between lanes is the cars fault if it hits me?? No its my fault for being stupid enough to be there! SAme goes for this idiot cyclist
13:11 October 3, 2010 by nledit
@butthead (er.. beavis i guess): I live in Stockholm. I know all about cycle tracks. And if it's illegal for bikers to be in the street, then why have I or any of my friends who bike never gotten pulled over when we pass cops?

I still say, serious bikers going 30-40km/hr do not belong on the cycle tracks.. they belong on the road.

But whether the biker was wrong or right, I'm surprised there are so many people saying the biker was more wrong than the driver who INTENTIONALLY hit him with a CAR.

Do you all think it was the old lady's fault who died from the idiot who attacked them for parking too slow in the parking lot a few months ago?? Her and her husband were taking their time and the attacker thought they were instigating him. Why did he get punished and not the old couple?
13:16 October 3, 2010 by swedeb
@beavis #43

Yes. If you were walking down E4, there was a car behind you, going the same speed as you walking, honking at you, telling you to move, and then decides to run you over.. yes, it would be the cars fault. You don't agree??
17:38 October 4, 2010 by wakak
Also, why not drive over pedestrians that are crossing the street outside of pedestrian crossings? No need then to go to Kenya on safari, just stay in Sweden, it will cost you less and be more fun. You will just have to repaint your car once in a while in case you cannot get rid of the blood stains.
Today's headlines
Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Look familiar? Meet your jawbone's ancestor
Thank God for evolution, eh?

There's something fishy about the human jawbone – it has its origins in the placodermi, a jowly species of fish that lived 400 million years ago, Swedish and Chinese researchers say.

Isis claims unremarked arson attack in Malmö
The arson attack took place on Norra Grängesbergsgatan in Malmö. File photo: Emil Langvad/TT

An arson attack in Malmö that caused only minor damage and was barely reported in the media has been claimed by terror group Isis.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available