Bicycle Innovation Lab: Why is social safety important for cyclists?

Everyone safe and comfortable while on their bikes

Why is social safety important for cyclists? More than seven out of ten young people sometimes feel unsafe when cycling in the dark, mainly because of street harassment. This is evident from a survey by TeamAlert among more than 1000 young people.

The study shows that 81% of young people start cycling faster when they feel unsafe. In addition, 78% send a text message to friends when they return home after cycling, and 72% send a message before leaving. The respondents also indicate that they often hold their phone while cycling, even though this is prohibited. They can then make (fake) phone calls and use their smartphone to feel safer on the road. Phone use in traffic can be dangerous, but the people surveyed consider their personal sense of safety on the road more important than road safety. Read more about TeamAlert's research here.

9 out of 10 people sometimes feel unsafe while cycling

A study by the Fietsersbond has similar results. Only 12% of the respondents never feel unsafe during a bicycle ride in the dark. This means that almost 9 out of 10 people sometimes feel unsafe while cycling. That's a shame, because cycling can be such a enjoyable experience! In the study, cyclists appear to feel most unsafe in the countryside (55%), in or around tunnels (49%), in parks without lighting (48%) and in wooded areas (43%).

A big fear for many cyclists is being harassed (55%) during their bike ride in the dark. One third of the respondents has had to deal with street harassment on a bicycle in the dark, such as being shouted at, being stared at, feeling watched or others blocking the road. Read more about the Fietsersbond's research here.

Bicycle Innovation Lab 2023

The studies indicate that social safety is an important theme that deserves more attention. There are many more situations in which social safety for cyclists is under pressure. Do you have experience with situations like this? And do you know how these situations can be improved? 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝗷𝗼𝗶𝗻 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗕𝗶𝗰𝘆𝗰𝗹𝗲 𝗜𝗻𝗻𝗼𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗟𝗮𝗯!

Submit your idea no later than March 30th, and make a chance to win € 1,000 and the opportunity to develop the idea - in collaboration with professionals from the Municipality of Amsterdam and The Transport Authority for the Amsterdam Region. An implementation budget of up to € 15,000 is available for developing this winning idea.

On this page, you will find all the necessary information to participate.

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