New mirrors under traffic lights to save cyclists

New mirrors under traffic lights to save cyclists

A mirror hangs under the grunlicht to show truck drivers the blind spot next to their vehicle. Hundreds of cyclists are killed every year in germany because drivers of cars, trucks and buses fail to see them when they turn off the road.

The cause of these accidents may have been the blind spot, suspects the north rhine-westphalian interior ministry. Munster tests the new reflector traffic light at two locations for the time being. The system is already being used successfully in the netherlands.

Meanwhile, in berlin, traffic experts want to discuss how motorists, cyclists and pedestrians can make better use of public spaces together, without traffic lights and traffic signs. The idea of shared space is the topic of a nationwide environmental and traffic congress this weekend. Already 40 cities are testing the traffic concept for more mutual respect in germany.

"Of course, not every through road is suitable for this purpose. But it works very well in plaza-like situations with high traffic quality," anja hanel from the verkehrsclub deutschland (VCD) told the dpa news agency. Speed limit 30 is a prerequisite.

It is important to visually separate the equally used space from normal pitches. "For example, by using a different pavement and not having clearly separated paths for cars, cyclists or fubgangers," said hanel. So everyone automatically moves more attentively. Such a place has been created at alexanderplatz in berlin, and the concept also works in aachen or at the opera square in duisburg: "it’s not just for small towns."

Nevertheless, the small town of bohmte near osnabruck has set an example nationwide: it has been testing shared space since 2008. There, the number of accidents with minor property damage increased slightly at first – but there was less personal injury in percentage terms.

In addition to the VCD, the shared space network also includes the association for urban, regional and state planning, the professional association for urban traffic (FUSS) and the cyclists’ association ADFC.

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