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Minister calls for crazed cyclists crack-down

The Local · 10 Apr 2012, 14:21

Published: 10 Apr 2012 14:21 GMT+02:00

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Peter Ramsauer, of the Christian Social Union, told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung that he frequently spotted cyclists flaunting bike rules on German roads, such as zipping through red lights.

The sheer volume of law-breakers is overwhelming police, who are trying to “curb crazed cyclists once and for all,” said Ramsauer.

But national German cycling association the ADFC hit back at this statement.

While red light-skipping cyclists were common, Roland Huhn, a lawyer for the ADFC, said Tuesday that the numbers were in no way comparable to those of speeding drivers and he could not name a single "aggressive" cyclist.

Ramsauer has been pushing for a mandatory helmet law since late 2011, when he said he could only imagine helmet use remaining voluntary if German cyclists started to ride more responsibly.

The number of cyclists who wear a helmet has climbed slightly over the past few years, with 11 percent of the population now wear helmets when they saddle-up. In 2010, this figure was just nine percent.

The highest increase was among children between the ages six and 10. That percentage jumped from 38 percent in 2010 to 56 percent in 2011.

Story continues below…

Ramsauer told the paper he hoped the overall number of people wearing a helmet would increase to nearer 50 percent over the next few years.

DPA/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:19 April 10, 2012 by jagduss
Yes, I think people should wear helmets, and body armor - pedestrians. I'm an avid biker but after narrowly avoiding a collision, as a pedestrian, yesterday, with a biker who sped through a red light, again, I've had it. Cyclists in Germany are subject to the same rules as car drivers and can have points knocked off their driving licenses for cycling infractions. This needs to be enforced better, but, how to do that is a very good question.
17:32 April 10, 2012 by jagduss
Ya, Chango, I live in Düsseldorf and it's maybe a little less insane than London or Berlin, but, it's still a big problem. I don't believe that helmets should be mandatory, but, like you, I do believe that the rules of the road should be much better enforced. Somehow.
19:11 April 10, 2012 by lalomartins
Rules need to be enforced. Helmets are silly; in fact they're more likely to encourage bad behaviour than to reduce it.
19:54 April 10, 2012 by YellowChicken
I've seen only about three people wearing helmets. And I expect to be ran over any day by a cyclist, it's only a matter of time.
21:11 April 10, 2012 by The-ex-pat
All this talk about helmets, what about lights. Go into my town after dark and of 100 cyclists, you may with luck see three with lights. What do the police do about it, a big fat nothing!!!
07:41 April 11, 2012 by Bushdiver
I for one would agree with stiff fines for many of these idiots. Here in FFM even though there are many bicycle paths people still choose to ride their bikes on the sidewalks where people walk. I have seen many such incidents. As far as a helmet law goes I think that either bike riders should be made to wear helmets or no longer require helmets for moped riders since a bike and a moped travel at about the same speeds. In fact, many bikes are even faster than mopeds. Yes, I agree with ex-pat on the lighting also. Most of the bikes I see at night in Frankfurt also have no lighting, either on the front or rear of the bike. Isn't there a current law already as far as bike lights go?
10:19 April 11, 2012 by Zyezxe
Once upon a time ... 20 years ago ... I decided to take a short bike run without my helmet. I was run over by a car .... literally ran over. My left elbow to left finger tip was the only part of my body not under the car. Not having the helmet is the only reason I survived, but the brain damage is still with me today. Left frontal lobe damage. Today I still have subtle issues.

I suspect the best reason for riding with a helmet is what happens to a person if they are in an accident and they injure their head. You can't put a band-aid on a brain injury.
13:57 April 13, 2012 by PhoenixW2
The behavior of cyclists in Berlin is utterly depressing. They ride on the pavement, and/or on the road (same stretch), in the cycle lanes the wrong way, around pedestrianised areas, routinely and brazenly jump lights, ride 2-3 abreast in cycle lanes causing people on foot to run, intentionally 'buzz' pedestrians that they think are too close to their hallowed cycle lanes.

Cyclists in Berlin are law-breaking garbage who treat other people like crap. There are no police to be seen anywhere. Apart from the dysfunctional road-crossing lights in the city, cyclists are about 75% of the reason that Berlin is a very bad place for pedestrians.
20:57 April 13, 2012 by TimDavies
How does a cycle helmet enhance a brain injury? If you're travelling fast enough and come off your head will hit the ground. Surely a helmet would help in some way rather than worsen things. We did an experiment in primary shcool with an egg and a tiny polystyrene helmet: the obvious results were conclusive.

The thing that worries me is this politician who presumably isn't a cyclist and has a problem with cyclists insisting they wear helmets. Is he thinking he'd get away with taking out the odd one at the lights if only their heads weren't quite so fragile?
01:53 April 14, 2012 by yuri_nahl
I think bicycle riders should be required to wear a surplus "Michelin Man" suit and a brass diving helmet. Or in lieu of this, have all single seat bicycles scrapped, and only bicycles built for 2 , plus a sidecar allowed on the road. This way, if a non-Michelin Man suit wearing bicyclist who would be safe, can have his,(or her) own personal copper, so that the bicyclist who are obviously prone to breaking the law, (otherwise why this article) would be less prone to breaking the law, and endangering the German nation with the potential of being under-policed. (plus an attorney, in the side-car in case the copper and the bicyclist get in an argument),

Using this clever idea, lawyers who have drained every spare coin from the American public can come and bleed the German nation dry too. After all, Germans have money, because they are the greatest exporters of actual products, besides war. The Fuhrer having already tried that, and the Germans cleverly noticed it did not work out that well.

One can only hope that after the "Lawyer Army" pillages Germany, they will try the same stunt on China, and the Chinese, remembering how the West bombarded Chinese river ports and generally raped the Chinese nation, and recognizing the scourge at the gates, declares open season on lawyer-vultures, and pays a bounty for every lawyer thrown into a revolting jail cell, and allowed to rot, unless they swear to work pro-bono to free wrongly jailed normal people who have been thrown into "prisons for profit", for giving their dog a "light wiener rub", or "having sex with their sister", or "riding a bicycle in an impolite manner."
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