Elderly and electric bikes a deadly combination

Elderly advocates call for electric bike training

Elderly advocates Ældre Sagen are calling on the government to respond to the news that a tenth of all cyclists killed in traffic accidents in the past three years were riding an electric bicycle and aged 63 or older.

Following the findings of the report by the road directorate Vejdirektoratet, Ældre Sagen has urged the government to provide the elderly with the necessary training to avoid having accidents in the future.

“It’s thought-provoking and tragic. It could indicate that there was a need to provide some information on how best to use the electric bicycle,” Jens Højgaard, a spokesperson for Ældre Sagen, told DR Nyheder.

“It’s great that many elderly can travel about with an electric bicycle, but it sounds like there is a need for courses in which they can learn how to use it."

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Traffic council taking a look
Højgaard is backed up by Frits Bredal, the head of communications for bicycle association Cykelforbundet, who contends that the electric bicycles can reach speeds that the elderly may not be accustomed to.

“Perhaps it would be a good idea that the elderly take an introductory course if they haven’t cycled in a long time,” Bredal told DR Nyheder.

The traffic safety council, Rådet for Sikker Trafik, is surprised that the elderly are so over-represented in the statistics and has decided to contact Vejdirektoratet and further examine the electric bicycles before making a decision.

“Focusing on the electric bicycles is good and we must find out what a course might include, or whether we should just tell people to take a brisk walk if they’re not physically robust,” Jesper Sølund from Rådet for Sikker Trafik told DR Nyheder.