New legislation expected for cargo bikes in light of increase in accidents

There was a time when regular cyclists were never overtaken by the people carriers, but electricity has made them fast. This has increased concerns their brakes are not up to the task

Cargo bikes have always posed a challenge to regular cyclists. Far wider than the average bicycle, they can be hard to overtake on narrow lanes.

Furthermore, since the advent of electric cargo bikes in recent years, sometimes they overtake regular cyclists, even though they continue to be cumbersome around junctions and corners and are invariably overtaken back.

This has invariably led to cargo bikes becoming involved in far more accidents – to the point that Sikkerhedsstyrelsen, the safety authority, has said more legislation is needed.

How safe is their braking mechanism?
In light of their bulk and increased speed, there are increasing concerns over their braking capacity.

“We have prioritised an effort in relation to cargo bikes this year. Cargo bikes have become more widespread and there are a number of different products on the market. Here we will consider whether they are safe to use,” confirmed Sikkerhedsstyrelsen manager Kirstine Gottlieb to DR.

“We will have tests performed at accredited test laboratories. I cannot say how many tests we are planning, or how many bikes and which brands we will test, because we are in the process of clarifying that. Based on our assessment and the laboratory test, we will contact the parties and then make a decision on the safety of the product once we have received their consultation response.”

Transport minister raised concerns
It is a matter that the transport minister,  Benny Engelbrecht, is fully aware of.

He maintains it is the responsibility of manufacturers and dealers to make sure the bikes are safe. Last year, he referred the matter to the Trade and Industry Ministry, which is responsible for Sikkerhedsstyrelsen.

Meanwhile, the EU is expected to announce some legislation, but not until 2023. 





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