News article

Influencing factors of observed speed and rule compliance of speed-pedelec riders in high volume cycling areas: Implications for safety and legislation

SWOV researchers Stelling and Vlakveld coauthored the article 'Influencing factors of observed speed and rule compliance of speed-pedelec riders in high volume cycling areas: Implications for safety and legislation' in the magazine Accident Analysis & Prevention.

Speed pedelecs (s-pedelecs) are electric bicycles offering pedal assistance up to 45 km/h. S-pedelecs may contribute to a more efficient and green traffic system. However, their potential to reach high speeds has raised road safety concerns. In the Netherlands a new legislation bans s-pedelecs from bicycle paths in urban areas. On the roads with a maximum speed limit of 50 km/h with adjacent bicycle paths, s-pedelec riders must use the roadways instead of the bicycle path. The impact of this legislation on the behaviour of s-pedelec riders and other road users as well as the possible consequences for road safety are yet unknown.

Therefore, this naturalistic riding study investigated the safety-relevant behaviours of s-pedelec riders, i.e. speed characteristics while riding on the roadway, the extent of non-compliance with the ban on using bicycle paths, and speed and speed adaptation while using bicycle paths. Furthermore the study explored factors possibly influencing rider behaviour (the s-pedelec’s motor-power, riders’ beliefs and perceptions) as well as negative reactions of other road users encountering s-pedelec riders.

Read the article for free (until August 1) »