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March 21, 2013 6 comments
Speeding Tickets In The Post For German Cyclists.Urban Cycling Stories
In Germany, riding with no hands will cost you €5 if a member of the force wishes to pull you on it. As will allowing a friend to hitch a lift on your rack. And in Germany, as in many other countries, road users on two human powered wheels are theoretically bound to obey any officially signposted speed limits they meet on their path. Ignoring them can thus cost you considerably more than a Sky Diver, not to mention points on your license. Assuming you have one. Of course these signs are designed to apply chiefly to drivers, and anecdotally it seems that police running speed traps are generally content to confine their penalizing to those going fast in vans, cars and motorbikes . Verboten. Bring a wallet stuffed with Fivers if you want to try fancy stuff like this in Deutschland. But as of next month, cyclists in Germany will also become specifically subject to speeding fines if found travelling at more than 30 km/h in a bike lane. Verboten. A night in the cells beckons for this pair if they can't get their hands on €5 sharpish. Most bike lanes in German cities tend to be a fairly seamless extension of the footpath, marked off by a stripe of paint or coloured tarmac, but with nothing built on to block pedestrians from stepping into them. Predictably, collisions between cyclists and pedestrians do occur frequently in bike lanes. In fact, a certain spin on road accident statistics can lead one to interpret that using a bike lane is the least safe way for a cyclist to get around a German city. By attempting to ensure that cyclists keep under 30 km/h in bike lanes, legislators are probably just carrying out an exercise in damage limitation, given that if German cities' bike lanes remain structurally the same, then cyclists will continue to meet pedestrians there at speed. Or be injured while trying to avoid them. And having it all happen at under 30 km/h, for example, presumably means a less undesirable outcome than the same at 40. Your thoughts are herzlich willkommen in the Comments Section.