keywords: traffic rules, road safety, minimum distance overtaking bicycles, luxembourg.
As of 1 May 2018 the Luxembourg Highway Code will be amended to take into account 9 new measures for cyclists and pedestrians.
After a several months long study comparing laws and practices in 8 European countries (Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Spain and Switzerland), these amendments to the Luxembourg Highway Code will give a greater safety for bike users and pedestrians.
– Flagship and expected measure by cyclists, the implementation of a lateral distance of 1.5m to be respected when overtaking a bicycle by a motor vehicle, this rule inspired by what exists in France, Germany, Switzerland and Spain. This minimum distance of 1.5m to overtake a bike will improve the safety of cyclists. Respecting this distance means that the motor vehicle must take the opposite lane to overtake the bike.
– The new possibility for cyclists to ride side by side for up to two bikes. This possibility is granted subject to being off-site (admitted locally in the case of an overtaking), being in a zone 30 or meeting area. This possibility is not granted at night or if it hinders the traffic. The goal of this measure is to make cycling easier to use. It is always necessary for motor vehicles to respect the minimum distance of 1,5m if the two bikes are passed side by side.
– The introduction of new signs indicating infrastructure that may, but not have to, be used by bicycles. This measure will improve pedestrian safety by reducing the risk of conflict by distinguishing bike and pedestrian facilities.
– The implementation of a light signal for bicycles with the creation of “flashing orange” bicycle lights, allowing cyclists to continue their journey at certain intersections, taking into account the different characteristics of cycles and their infrastructures compared to motorised traffic.
– The authorisation of children circulation by bike on the pavements until 12 years old. They can then be accompanied by an older person (on a bike). This measure will make it possible to develop bike use from an early age and to secure the accompanying person by bike.
– The creation of a new type of bike path: the cycle street or Fahrradstrasse. On this new infrastructure cyclists will have priority and it will be forbidden to overtake, access to this road will be limited to the local residents for a speed not exceeding 30km/h.
– The possibility of creating a continuous sidewalk at crossroads to give a privileged place to pedestrians by raising the pedestrian crossing and thus make it more direct and visible.
– The introduction of new signals indicating when a impasse is passable for bicycles and pedestrians, the classic “T” materialising the impasse, the addition of a bike or pedestrian mean that the bike or pedestrian will be able to cross it, meaning that the impasse does not apply to pedestrians and/or cyclists.
– Adaptation of safety equipment to be found on a bike. The following are now mandatory: a bell, two brakes, a white or yellow light at the front, at least two reflectors per wheel, reflectors on the pedals, a red reflector and a red light at the rear.
Attention, from May 1, 2018 these provisions will have to be respected by all, in particular the motorists.
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