European Parliament today votes in many good measures to encourage cycling; and some batty ones.
Earlier today BikeBiz.com reported on the welcome recommendation from the European Parliament that EU member states ought to adhere to the Koch Report and seriously consider more 30kph zones in residential areas.
As always, the devil is in the detail and there are other elements in PE456.969 European Parliament resolution of 27 September 2011 on European road safety 2011-2020 (2010/2235(INI), some of them welcome, others unwelcome.
Oddly, the call for "minimum requirements in respect of lights and reflective devices which must be met by bicycle manufacturers" is already met by the EU's existing CEN standards for bicycles.
More 'safe routes to school' are welcome, as are anything that can lower motor vehicle speeds, but some of the other recommendations are not so welcome.
The EU's recommendations are just that: they won't be binding in law. In the case of helmets and hi-vis vests, the UK's Highway Code already recommends this. However, such a 'recommendation' from the European Parliament could, potentially, make it on the statute books.Article continues below
50. Calls for a Europe-wide ban on the manufacture, import and distribution of systems that warn drivers of traffic checks (e.g. radar warning and laser jamming devices, or navigation systems that automatically signal traffic checks);
58. Welcomes the fact that the Commission is focusing its attention on the most vulnerable user groups (two-wheel vehicle users, pedestrians, etc.), where accident figures are still too high; calls on the Member States, the Commission and the industry to bear these kinds of users in mind when designing road infrastructure and equipment, so that roads built are safe for all users; calls, in the context of road planning and maintenance, for greater consideration to be given to infrastructure measures to protect cyclists and pedestrians, e.g. traffic separation measures, the expansion of cycle path networks and barrier-free access arrangements and crossings for pedestrians;
76. Calls on the Commission to present within two years a report on the safety aspects of electromobility, including ‘e-bikes’ and ‘pedelecs’;
99. Invites the Commission, the Member States and local authorities to promote ‘safe routes to school’ schemes in order to increase the safety of children; indicates that, in addition to the introduction of speed limits and the establishment of a school traffic police, the suitability of vehicles used as school buses and the professional skills of drivers must also be assured;
100. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to support cycling and walking as mode of transport in their own right and an integral part of all transport systems;
101. Calls on the Member States:
− to make the carrying of warning jackets for all vehicle occupants compulsory and
− to encourage cyclists, especially at night outside built-up areas, to use crash helmets and wear warning jackets or comparable clothing as a means of improving their visibility;
102. Calls on the Commission to submit a proposal laying down minimum requirements in respect of lights and reflective devices which must be met by bicycle manufacturers.