German traffic associations demand enhanced safety for cyclists

Video PlayerClose BERLIN, Feb.

11 (Xinhua) — The German National Cyclists’ Association (ADFC) and the association for road haulage, logistics and waste disposal (BGL) called for enhanced safety for cyclists on Tuesday so as to prevent accidents between cyclists and motorists on German roads. Crossings should be reconstructed to be made safe and there should be separate green phases at traffic lights for cyclists and motorized traffic, the associations demanded.

“The way crossings are designed in Germany could cause serious accidents,” said ADFC managing director Burkhard Stork. In order to avoid serious accidents between cyclists and trucks, often caused by truck drivers’ blind spots, ADFC and BGL suggested installing turning assistance systems which recognize traffic participants as cyclists or pedestrians in as many trucks as possible. According to the ADFC, a “fatal trap” could occur when a truck and bicycle would stand directly next to each other at a traffic light and the person on the bicycle wanted to drive straight ahead but the truck wanted to turn right.

According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), almost 400 cyclists died in traffic accidents in Germany every year on average in recent years. The latest available figures for 2018 even showed 445 fatal accidents involving cyclists. The ADFC noted that between 30 and 40 cyclists were killed every year in Germany just by trucks making a right turn.

This number would be “threatening” to rise, as both urban freight traffic and cycling traffic in Germany would continue to increase, the associations added.

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