Bad news on the horizon for cyclists: National traffic authority is investigating a series of restrictive measures for cyclists who, if finally approved, would be a dangerous step backwards towards the development of mobility in bicycle. In addition to mandatory helmet, users of two-wheeled pedal will be forced to proceed on the right side of the road, will be banned for children under 14 years old ride unless accompanied by an adult, will be forbidden to use trailers in cities and on bike paths and will introduce a system of penalties that would establish the dangerousness of the bicycle on a par with that of a motor vehicle.
The Iberian Association “ConBici”, which campaigns for years in Spain for the dissemination of the bike as means of transport and tourism, has commented on the package of proposals, arguing that “seem designed to keep cyclists from the streets”. The position of the Group ConBici, by the way, is the same officially supported by the ECF (European Cyclists Federation) and international associations in defence of cycling: the Council of the use of the helmet but not mandatory, sharing the road across multiple types of users, incentives for home-school travel independently for the little ones.
About helmet use current law in Spain, which came into force in 2004, is already stricter than in other countries: it is mandatory to wear it out from urban centres, except in cases of excessive heat and uphill. The first effect of this measure in urban settings, as already demonstrated by the negative experience of Australia (-37% of cyclists newspapers), could be a severe drop of users of bike sharing in the cities where it is active and works well, see Barcelona, with trains on the modal split and traffic. With the obligation to pedal in the right hand lane would not be less serious consequences: according to ConBici, in fact, the rider will have to present a valid justification for not having taken the right even in cases where the responsibility of the accident were to be in the car.
The ConBici Association is committed to time in involving European groups in defense of cycling in order not to be left alone in this battle. Online has been active for days a petition that can subscribe to everyone, not just Spanish nationals. The next few weeks will be decisive for the approval of the document proposed by the national traffic, the most knowledgeable argue that it could enter into force before the end of the month.
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