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15/11/2011 // INFO Leave a comment

US city considers speed limit for cyclists

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Bicycle Friendly

Safety for cyclists on the roads is very much a hot topic now here in the UK with events in London in the past week but in America one city council is attempting to put a speed limit on cyclists due to the number of accidents at 15 of the city’s flash lighted pedestrian crossings (called crosswalks in the US)

Boulder City Council is considering a proposal next week that would set a speed limit of 8 miles per hour for cyclists when they cross over a lighted pedestrian crossing.

A council study conducted a couple of years ago found that in 70% of accidents when a pedestrian was hit crossing at a lighted pedestrian crossing, a bicycle was involved.

Police checks

The council’s transportation operations engineer, Bill Cowern, told Boulder’s local newspaper The Daily Camera that though the 8 mile per hour speed limit would be admittedly slow, it was still rideable.

Local police would be instructed to do speed checks at pedestrian crosswalks if Boulder city council approves the plan.

Liability

The new rules would also put an onus on pedestrians’ to activate flashing lights at the crosswalks where available to make it known to oncoming traffic that they plan to cross. Currently, it is up to the pedestrian or cyclist whether to press the button that turns on the lights.

Local cycling pressure group Bicycle Colorado said it was concerned that the 8 miles per hour speed limit would put blame on the cyclist if they are hit in the crosswalk by a car. Pedestrians or cyclists involved in accidents would be required to prove they were within the 8 mph speed limit or activated the lights if criminal or civil cases were brought to court.


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