The number of electric bikes has increased dramatically over the last few years – as has the number of deaths amongst those riding them. In 2018, they accounted for six of the 28 cyclist fatalities, according to Vejdirektoraet.
The number represents a steep rise on the two or three killed every year since 2012, during which time there have been 21 total deaths.
Pedal to the metal
One of the contributing factors could be that by using a kit costing around 800 kroner and some simple tools, it is possible to tune an electric bike to go up to 60 km per hour, reports Politiken.
The kits are fully legal, but now the Havarikommissionen accident prevention body has suggested they ought to be banned. Unfortunately, though, they are easy to find online or abroad.
The current limit on the assisted speed is 25 km/h. However, an exception has been for pedelecs, which can go up to 45 km/h and are currently on trial.
Fatality on Funen
A 62-year-old man was killed on June 7 in a collision between his electric bicycle and a lorry at a roundabout near Årslev in Funen, in which the cyclist appeared to be going at around 30-40 km per hour.
The majority of the cyclists killed and injured are more than 44 years old, and around two-thirds of them are women.
Good year in general
Overall, 2018 was a good year for road-users, according to Vejdirektoratet, as there were only 171 fatalities – the lowest figure since 2012. The biggest drop could be seen among people aged 18-24.
Nevertheless, 1,862 people were seriously injured in traffic accidents – the highest number since 2013. And 793 were cyclists.
Concerns over scooters
In other transport news, Copenhagen’s deputy mayor for technical issues, Karina Vestergård Madsen, has suggested there are too many electric scooters on the capital’s streets.
Since becoming legal in January, they’ve started to take over the bicycle lanes, and Madsen told TV2 that “it’s our estimation that if we want to avoid accidents, the limit on electric scooters in the city centre should be 200”.
Shared bike limits?
A similar limit for shared bicycles is also being discussed in the capital, and it has been suggested that an overall limit of 3,000 for bikes and scooters could be set.
Should the limits be set, rental companies will have to apply for permits to put out scooters and bicycles.