Proposals released to protect cyclists from right-hand turns

Lorries may be forced to stop at intersections and carry blind-spot cameras, but the latest research shows that cyclists are more at risk than statistics show

A range of proposals to reduce the number of fatal accidents between bicycles and right-hand turning vehicles will be presented today.

The traffic minister, Pia Olsen Dyhr (Socialistisk Folkeparti), called for the recommendations following this year's seventh fatal traffic accident involving a bicycle and a right-hand turning vehicle in September.

A number of organisations participated in drawing up the recommendations, including cyclist, pedestrian and motorist groups, along with unions, traffic researchers, local government associations and traffic safety organisations.

18 recommendations
According to public broadcaster DR, 18 recommendations will be released today that include mandatory blind spot cameras in heavy vehicles and forcing heavy vehicles to stop completely before turning right.

After the recommendations are released, the government will then choose which ones to proceed with.

While the initiatives are intended to protect cyclists in traffic, more of them may be at risk than previously thought. 

10 times more risky
Around 3,600 people are reported as getting injured in bicycle accidents each year, but that figure may only account for ten percent of all accidents involving cyclists.

According to Odense Universitetshospital and the road agency Vejdirektoratet, the police are not called to the vast majority of bike accidents, meaning that the official figure is vastly below the actual amount.

READ MORE: Minister takes action after fatal bicycle accident

A proposal to shift responsibility for recording bicycle injuries to hospitals would cost upwards of 20 million kroner annually, but has been greeted warmly by health authorities, cycle advocacy groups and the police.

Studies show that as much as 80 percent of the population cycles on a regular basis.

Factfile | Proposals to improve bicycle safety in cities

  • More information campaigns directed at both cyclists and drivers.
  • Lorries must stop before turning right.
  • It should be easier for lorry drivers to adjust their mirrors.
  • Create stops where lorry drivers can check if their mirrors are installed properly.
  • Lorry mirrors must be installed under supervision.
  • Extending driving licence tests to also include lessons on how to instal and use mirrors.
  • Increased police control of mirrors and views from lorry cabins.
  • All lorries must have a camera that covers blind angles.
  • If lorries have a camera, the screen must be installed so that the driver does not need to turn his/her head.
  • Drivers have to ensure that their view from the cabin is not blocked by personal effects.
  • Traffic lights at intersections should be programmed so that cyclists and cars cross intersections in turn.
  • The number of tall lorries driving in cities should be reduced.
  • The ban on distribution at night by lorries should end so that fewer lorries end up driving during rush hour.
  • The ban on lorries driving with trailers in the city should end to reduce the total number of lorries on the streets.
  • Increased education about traffic safety in schools.
  • More stop lines that are set back from the intersection.

Source: DR Nyheder

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