2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 05:39
Cycling is dangerous. But that should be different. The coalition faction has called on the government to step up efforts to ensure safe cycling.
At the Kottbusser Tor in Berlin there are still candles, next to them are flowers. A cyclist wanted to cross the intersection one afternoon in early January. A truck turning right hits the 68-year-old and runs over her. The woman dies. On Friday, the members of the Bundestag discussed such accidents just a few kilometers from the accident site.
The coalition factions CDU / CSU and SPD prevailed with a motion calling on the government to take additional measures for safer cycling in Germany.
Scheuer wants to change the traffic regulations
And that although Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) already wants to change the road traffic regulations. According to his ideas, for example, a sufficient safety distance should be stipulated when drivers overtake cyclists. At least 1.5 meters in town and two meters outside would then be in the law. In addition, vehicles heavier than 3.5 tons may only be allowed to turn at walking pace. It's all pretty good, says SPD transport politician Mathias Stein. But: "It can be done even better."
The CSU transport politician Alois Rainer said: "We don't need to fool ourselves - mobility in our country will change." In the cities, the bicycle is usually the fastest means of transport. The CDU transport politician Christoph Ploß says it cannot be that weaker road users are endangered by recklessness. "Cyclists who adhere to the traffic rules should experience significant improvements."
Tempo 30 generally in urban areas
The parliamentary groups want to test, among other things, what the traffic would look like if only Tempo 30 were generally allowed in town and Tempo 50 would have to be specially arranged on main roads. From the SPD's point of view, lowering the speed limit would increase road safety. "So far, such reductions have only taken place in a targeted manner and usually not in larger areas," says SPD transport politician Kirsten Lühmann. To get valid data, you need a test phase of at least two to three years.
The FDP wants to rely on digital traffic control and warning systems for protection for cyclists. The parliamentary group rejects the obligation to walk at a walking pace when turning and a general speed limit of 30. "Motorists are not the enemy of German transport policy," says the FDP transport politician Christian Jung.
The AfD fears the "unhindered journey into the ideological anti-car policy". Tempo 30 in entire cities would destroy the traffic calming in the side streets, says the AfD traffic politician Wolfgang Wiehle.
UDV: Tempo 30 is not the big hit
The mobility club ADAC expresses a similar fear: On many somewhat smaller main roads it will be difficult to order 50 km / h. "This would have meant that these streets would have lost an important function: to bundle traffic and to protect secondary routes and residential areas from unwanted crawl traffic."
The head of accident research at the insurer, Siegfried Brockmann, doubts that 30 km / h would be the big hit for cyclists. One can assume that drivers would be on the road at around 40, but: Even today, only 11 percent of bicycle accidents with personal injury are cars or trucks with speeds of more than 40 km / h. One of the reasons for this is that most accidents happened when turning. "However, it would be worth a large-scale experiment - for example in an entire municipality," says Brockmann.
The bicycle association ADFC, which according to its own statements has been campaigning for a general speed limit of 30 in cities for a long time, wants more than one large-scale test. "Basically, the following should apply: safety for everyone before speed for some," says the association.
Greens and left dissatisfied
For the Greens and the left, the plans of the government and the coalition factions do not go far enough. “You only do what the car does not restrict,” says the Green cycling politician Stefan Gelbhaar, referring to Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer. Lower speeds resulted in less serious accidents.
The left parliamentary group leader Amira Mohamed Ali said: "As usual, the Union and the SPD remain completely behind their possibilities." In the Bundestag, the party spoke out in favor of further measures such as the mandatory equipping of trucks with turning assistance systems and bicycle parking garages at every major train station.
Encouragement from the city council
The German Association of Cities received encouragement for the proposal by the coalition groups. The municipalities will be given better leeway in order to be able to strengthen bicycle traffic, said chief executive Helmut Dedy. "For example, by allowing cities and municipalities to set speeds of 30 km / h for entire streets regardless of any particular dangerous situation." But it is also clear that cities cannot expand the cycling infrastructure on their own. A cycle path offensive by the federal, state and local governments is necessary here.
Accident researcher Brockmann sees potential above all in the municipalities. "The decisive factor would be a better infrastructure." This includes that there are no obstructions to the view at intersections such as parked cars between cyclists and cars. In addition, you need separate green phases for bicycles and cars. Because accidents like the one in Berlin-Kreuzberg at the beginning of January often happened. "The cyclist is mainly injured and killed in a turning accident," said the expert. (dpa)
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