The use of electric powered cycles and e-scooters has taken off in a big way in Holland. But the results in terms of road casualties have got substantially worse.
In 2017, for the first time ever, more cyclists were involved in fatal accidents than motorists in the Netherlands. The number of cyclists suffering fatal injuries was at its highest for ten years and more than a quarter of the victims met their end on an e-bike. More men than women cyclists died and two-thirds of them were over 65.
In addition 25 people using scooters died. The article that disclosed this news (see https://tinyurl.com/y5kx2e5n ) suggested that the reason the elderly were such high a proportion of victims was because they have problems in keeping their balance on e-bikes. But it also probably relates to their higher risk of medical problems, and poor recovery times, after simple falls off fast moving bikes. It’s worth pointing out that many of these accidents will not have involved motor vehicles in any way.
Comment: It is clear that the encouragement of more cycling on congested streets as we have seen in London under the Mayor’s Transport Strategy is likely to have negative consequences. Meanwhile the suggestion of the use of e-scooters on London’s streets, where it is currently illegal but most people don’t know it, should surely be discouraged.
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