How to reduce traffic injuries whilst promoting active travel?

Published in 2013, the ITF Cycling, Health and Safety report, describes the positive public health impacts of cycling as a mobility option. There is however concern among policymakers that getting people to cycle more carries a risk of more road traffic injuries and fatalities. In this context, it is important to identify and learn from best international practice in reducing the risk of serious and fatal casualties.

The ITF Cycling Safety Roundtable brought together a range of international stakeholders and experts, including among others City of Copenhagen (chair), Transport for London, CEREMA, European Cyclists' Federation, Swiss Federal Department of Environment and Transport, IFSTTAR, Chalmers University of Technology, VITO.

Four groups of questions were examined in greater detail:

  • Can we measure cycle safety? Can we monitor safety over time in the context of growing use of bikes? Can we benchmark countries in a meaningful and comparable way?
  • What is the road safety impact of e-bikes? Which policies have been developed or should be envisaged to make them safer?
  • What is the road safety impact of public bike systems, either dock-based or dockless? Which policies will maximise the public health benefit of such systems?
  • Can we recommend light segregation as a solution to the rapid development of a low-cost large-scale protected cycling infrastructure network?

A set of commissioned papers were presented by the authors.

  • Increasing Cycling in a Safe Traffic System - Philippe Crist, International Transport Forum
  • Exposure-adjusted Fatality Rates for Cycling and Walking in European Countries - Alberto Castro, University of Zurich and Thomas Götschi, University of Zurich
  • Cycling Safety in World Cities: Measuring Exposure and Risk - Alexandre Santacreu, International Transport Forum
  • Bike Share and Safety - Elliot Fishman, Institute for Sensible Transport
  • The Safety of Electrically-assisted Bicycles Compared to Classic Bicycles in the Netherlands - Paul Schepers Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environement, Karin Klein Wolt VeiligheidNL, and Elliot Fishman, Institute for Sensible Transport
  • Cycle Lane Protection: A State of the Art Review - Brian Deegan, Urban Movement

Papers, presentations and videos are available here.

Polis will closely follow the next steps towards a set of policy recommendations notably through the Polis Working Group on Safety and Security, and the Working Group on Health and Transport.