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Pedestrian crossings, bicycle crossings & bicycle path

Pedestrian crossing

Pedestrian crossings are primarily intended for pedestrians. In addition to those walking, pedestrians also include:

  • Persons in wheelchairs (when moving at walking speed).
  • Persons on roller skates.
  • Persons on roller skis.
  • Persons on scooters.

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.

Never force someone to cross. If you have stopped for a pedestrian who is clearly indicating that they do not intend to cross at that very moment, you should drive on and not stay and make the person cross.

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

  • Guarded = 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.
  • Even if a person is crossing at a red light when your light is green, you do not have the right to create a dangerous situation by driving on.

Important clarification on bicycle crossings and bicycle passages

Since 1 September 2014, all existing bicycle crossings are now referred to as bicycle passages. The term ‘bicycle crossing’ is still in use, however, and has been given a new meaning. The new type of bicycle crossing is a type of crossing where cars are obligated to give way to cyclists.

Bicycle passage (previously bicycle crossing)

  • 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.
    • What exactly does it mean to “adapt your speed”? – There is no exact answer, you must simply make a reasonable assessment.
  • The cyclists have an obligation to give way to drivers, not the other way around.
    • Exception: If you are crossing a bicycle passage while turning or exiting a roundabout in a car, you shall give way to everyone on the bicycle passage, including cyclists and moped drivers.

Bicycle crossing (new type as of 2014)

Give way line

M14: Give way line
(for car traffic)

  • When driving, you have an obligation to give way to cyclists and class II mopeds that are driving on the bicycle crossing or are about to cross it.
  • Indicated with B8M14 and M16.
  • Speed-reducing measures shall be in place, such as a raised hump where the bicycle crossing is.

Bicycle path (bicycle lane)

  • A road or part of a road intended for bicycle traffic and class II moped traffic.
    • It may be difficult to recognise a bicycle path. There is no standardised design and road signs are not always posted. You must therefore make an assessment in each individual case.
  • Cars have an obligation to give way to everyone in the bicycle path. In other words, you must also stop to let cyclists and moped drivers pass.

Statistics

  • Approximately 30% of all cases of pedestrians who are injured in traffic involve an accident at a pedestrian crossing.
  • Pedestrians, cyclists and moped drivers (approximate numbers, per year):
    • 80 deaths
    • 900 severe injuries
    • 5,000 mild injuries

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Last updated 2017-09-07.