BBC, cycling in Berlin

by antonio   November 21, 2013  

Watched an half arsed report on cycling in Berlin this morning, sure there are lessons for London, or any other of our cities and large towns, but a distinct lack of research into the reported respect motorists have for cyclists is appalling.
The reporter goes on to admire the mutual respect of cyclists also for motorists and the lack of aggressive cycling, unlike reported here in the UK, but not once is the fact that a motorist involved in an accident where death is the outcome, is immediately charged, placing the onus on him, or her, proof of responsible driving. Little wonder respect to cyclists is given, at the same time there is little or no reason for aggressive cycling.

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You hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately, the motorist is God in this country and no politician would dare to propose stronger laws for fear of losing votes.

posted by pjay [226 posts]
21st November 2013 - 10:29

7 Likes

Germany is also very strict about cycling (mis)behaviour too. Such as jail for drunken riding and 15 year bans on using ANY form of licence-free vehicular transport.

Google 'Germany cyclist drunk'

posted by racyrich [128 posts]
21st November 2013 - 10:45

2 Likes

Germany does have a higher incidence of drink driving than the UK though. Only in the last few years have the German authorities began to take this issue seriously. A lot of older drivers or drivers in rural areas still flout drink driving laws and more so than in the UK.

One interesting point to note is that if a drink driver has a blood alcohol level past a certain point, then the return of the licence is not automatic at the end of the set periodof the driving ban. The person has to submit to an alcohol/liver function test to ensure that there is no sign of alcoholism that could result in a subsequent drink driving offence (and ban) in the future. This last is perhaps something that could be considered for the UK and other European countries also.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2205 posts]
21st November 2013 - 13:02

5 Likes

I have just read this interesting report in the Guardian about the experience of cycling in various cities of the world including Berlin.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/nov/20/how-safe-are-worlds-...

There are some good lessons in there that we all could copy.

"Most motorists here are also cyclists, which enables them to better anticipate the behaviour of cyclists in traffic. Driving instructors teach new motorists to use their right hand to open their door, which forces the driver to turn, putting them in a better position to see if a cyclist is approaching from behind." - Amsterdam

Such a simple idea and one that could be implemented as part of the driving test immediately.

Also it is no coincidence that there is such a link between the best cycling cities and cyclists who have respect for the rules of the road.

"The law-abiding nature of the people also helps cut down on fatalities. For Swedes, cycling in the wrong direction on a cycle path or, worse still, on a pavement intended for pedestrians, elicits the sort of outrage people in the UK reserve for those dumping their rubbish on the pavement." - Malmo

"But Berlin also expects its cyclists to stick to the rules more than London does. One reason for this is self-policing: try going down a cycling path on the wrong side of the road, even in an alternative district such as Kreuzberg, and you will soon be bellowed at by other cyclists or by pedestrians. Cycling offences are not just punished with on-the-spot fines: any fine over €45 (£37.50) also comes with points that show up on your driving licence (which means that, in theory, you can end up with points on your licence before you have even passed your driving test)." - Berlin

Maybe food for thought for red light jumpers, pavement cyclists and other antisocial cyclist that give us all a bad name?

Never in a hurry on a bicycle.

posted by GoingRoundInCycles [134 posts]
21st November 2013 - 15:38

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Enforcement of the law? Now there's an interesting idea!

posted by drfabulous0 [349 posts]
22nd November 2013 - 0:08

3 Likes