Every year, no fewer than 45,000 cyclists are the victims of solo accidents. Professer Dick de Waard of the University of Groningen, together with the Dutch Cyclists’ Union, Royal HaskoningDHV and local road managers, has been commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment to develop a ‘
forgiving cycle path
’. The aim of these cycle paths is to reduce the number of solo accidents and make sure that the accidents that do occur are less serious. A forgiving cycle path would by its very nature invite safer cycling behaviour.
De Waard and PhD student Frank Westerhuis investigated the effects of various adaptations to the verge. They concluded that making verges ‘forgiving’ would automatically keep cyclists on the right part of the cycle path.
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E-bikes, school children on bikes and the elderly in traffic. Professor of Traffic Psychology Karel Brookhuis (himself almost 70) has clear opinions on the subject. Now approaching the end of a long career, he is cautiously stepping down from his soapbox...