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Pedestrian crossings, bicycle crossings & bicycle path

Pedestrian crossing

A pedestrian crossing is always indicated by the sign and/or road marking for pedestrian crossing. Pedestrian crossings are primarily intended for pedestrians. In addition to those walking, pedestrians also include:

  • Persons in wheelchairs.
  • Persons on roller skates, roller skis and kicksleds.

Cyclists and moped drivers may use the pedestrian crossing, but the cars have no obligation to give way to them.

The easiest way to avoid misunderstandings and accidents is to seek eye contact with the pedestrians.

However, you should not wave the pedestrian over, as this creates a false sense of security, especially if there are multiple lanes. If you wave them over, the pedestrian will perhaps relax and assume that the whole road is clear, and then there is a car coming fast in the other lane with no intention of stopping.

Unguarded pedestrian crossing

  • Drivers have an obligation to give way to pedestrians who have stepped out on the pedestrian crossing or who are about to do so.

Guarded pedestrian crossing

  • Has a functioning traffic signal (or a police officer).
  • Both driver and pedestrian shall respect the traffic signals.
    • If you are driving and get a green light, you must still let pedestrians pass who started crossing at a green light but did not make it all the way across before the red light.

An unguarded pedestrian crossing. You have an obligation to give way to the pedestrian, since he is just about to step out on the pedestrian crossing.

This is a tricky pedestrian crossing. There are traffic signals, but they are not functioning. This means that the pedestrian crossing is unguarded.

Bicycle passage

  • Always indicated by the road marking for bicycle passage.
  • When you are driving and approach a bicycle passage, you must adapt your speed so that you do not cause a danger to those on the bicycle passage.
  • If you are crossing a bicycle passage while turning or exiting a roundabout, you must reduce your speed and give cyclists an opportunity to pass.
  • The cyclists have an obligation to give way to car drivers.

Clarification about bicycle passages

Some words used in connection to bicycle passages may seem unclear (“adapt your speed”, “not cause a danger”, “an opportunity to pass”). The lawmakers want to avoid saying that you have an obligation to give way, since this could give the cyclists a false sense of safety. The fact that car drivers and cyclists have far-reaching obligations towards each other is intended to increase safety.

As a car driver, you should keep in mind that the purpose of bicycle passages is to allow cyclists to cross the road. You should also keep in mind that cyclists are unprotected road users. Letting cyclists pass is a good and safe habit.

Everything said about cyclists in the sections about bicycle passage, bicycle crossing, and bicycle path also applies to drivers of moped class II.

A bicycle passage combined with a pedestrian crossing. Adapt your speed so that you do not cause a danger to those on the bicycle passage.

If you turn right, you will cross a bicycle passage. Because you are turning, you have greater obligations towards cyclists. Reduce your speed and give cyclists an opportunity to pass.

Bicycle crossing

Give way line

M14: Give way line
(for car traffic)

  • A bicycle crossing is always indicated with the road sign for bicycle crossing, the road marking for bicycle crossing, and a give way line for the cars.
  • When driving, you have an obligation to give way to cyclists that are driving on the bicycle crossing or are about to cross it.
  • The traffic environment around a bicycle crossing is supposed to be designed in a way that makes it inappropriate to drive faster than 30 km/h. For example, a raised hump where the bicycle crossing is.

You are approaching a bicycle crossing. You have an obligation to give way to cyclists.

Bicycle path

  • A road or part of a road intended for bicycle traffic. Other drivers are only allowed to cross the bicycle path.
  • Cars have an obligation to give way to cyclist on the bicycle path.

Clarification about crossing a bicycle path

A problem in many situations is that the bicycle path does not in a legal sense cross the car road. The fact that mandatory signs for bicycle path are posted on each site of the road does not automatically mean that the bicycle path crosses the road. Most of the time, the bicycle path ends before the road crossing and begins again on the other side. It is unusual that an uninterrupted bicycle path crosses a car road. The Swedish Transport Agency has said: “Generally, a bicycle path does not cross a road/street”.

Also note that a bicycle passage or a bicycle crossing always means that the bicycle path is interrupted. In other words, if you see the road marking for bicycle passage/crossing, you can be sure that the bicycle path ends before the junction.

How can I know if I cross an uninterrupted bicycle path?
– It is unfortunately very difficult to know, since an uninterrupted bicycle path lacks a standardised design. If you ask the experts at the Swedish Transport Agency, they will refer you to the municipality’s detailed plan.

Am I supposed to stop and check the municipality’s detailed plan at every junction?
– No, the best thing to do is to act in the safest manner. Reduce your speed and let cyclist cross the road.

If you turn right at the red arrow, you will cross a bicycle path according to the municipality’s detailed plan. You have an obligation to give way to cyclists. Note that this is a small entry road. It is not a regular junction.

Bicycle path ends.

At this junction, the municipality says that the bicycle path ends at A and starts again at B. In other words, the bicycle path is interrupted and does not cross the car road.

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