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15/04/24 3

New traffic code 2024 and bicycles

On March 27, the new Highway Code was approved in the House. The approval process is not yet complete, but we can address the issues that affect our cyclist friends. Already in the past, Sprintade® has joined the chorus of those calling for more protections for bikes on the roads, and with the arrival of warm weather, now is a good time to address the issue of road safety for cyclists.

A Silent Slaughter

“It’s a bit like if the total number of participants in the Giro d’Italia disappeared every year”

comments Giovanni Biserni, president of the Road Police Supporters Association on the sidelines of the report on cyclist safety prepared by the Asaps-Sapidata Observatory. Of the approximately 3,000 road fatalities, as many as 197 cyclists lost their lives on Italian roads in 2023. While this is a slight improvement over 2022 (205 deaths among cyclists), Italy still ranks behind France and the Nordic countries in terms of bike safety index.

In general, the safety of our roads is clearly improving, and particularly for cyclists, but these are still numbers that clash with the constant proclamations about sustainable mobility (which is not about electric cars, but about bicycles).

What changes for cyclists (little)

The new Highway Code 2024 introduces a requirement for motorists to maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from a cyclist when overtaking a bicycle, but only “where road conditions permit.”

As we observed in 2022 (see our article), the real problem is dribbled out as always, with the peak of accidents occurring in urban areas, with uneven road surfaces, poorly lit intersections, or the lack of tools separating cyclists from cars and motorcycles.

The other new feature is the bike-attestation zone, which is a stop line further forward than the traffic light stops, to allow bikes an easier restart when the green light goes off. Again, everything is related to the limited possibility of applying these innovations within Italian cities.

The real positive news is the crackdown about cell phone use while driving, speeding, and drunkenness (full text of the New Highway Code).

What to do in case of an accident (even a minor one)

We are all familiar with automobile procedures related to insurance paperwork. But what to do when we find ourselves on a bicycle? Many bicyclists and pedestrians feel discouraged by procedures that they feel they cannot cope with especially economically. There are, however, nowadays facilitated channels that allow people to claim compensation for traffic claims. Such is the case with digital compensation portal that offers expert advice in the field for road accidents-even those involving pedestrians or cyclists.

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