Safe integration of bicycles into the Netherlands is an interesting example because cycling has social, economic and health aspects and is a green form of urban transportation. Nevertheless, the safety of cyclists is essential to ensure that it remains a popular form of urban transportation. In the Netherlands, about 35% of people use bicycles daily, which means the public demand for safety must be taken seriously. In 1970, people protested against the high number of child deaths on the roads and started the movement called ‘Stop child murder’ because of the high rate of casualties, especially at crossings. This demand influenced government policy in the Netherlands, which perceived the bicycle as a necessary means of safe transportation in urban areas. Along with geographical considerations, bike-friendly infrastructure and bike-friendly policy are the keys to the safe and secure integration of bicycles into the system.
Here, the elements of safe integration have been described and listed using the safety cube method. For this purpose, the three elements of the human, system, and environment are the starting points. The table below presents these three elements and their connections. The table shows the requirements for creating a safe cycling experience for users. It goes far beyond the design of a safe bicycle and for example, a safe helmet. It shows the need for an integral view that combines proper infrastructure with supportive policy and a culture that embraces it to achieve the optimum results. It is important to note that the table presented here for this example does not show all the detail information required for the safe integration of bicycles into urban areas.
|Human||Cyclist, other road users, regulators, service providers||Quality & condition control, human-power input, steering||Driving culture of e-bikes, cars, motorcycles, or other road users|
|System||Safe, comfortable, economical, healthy, and enjoyable personal transport||Bicycle||Visibility in daylight, night, or in rain|
|Environment||Traffic regulations, and traffic management system, climate requirements||trees, snow or ice on the path, fallen trees or bushes|| Road, signs, curbs, markings, other road-vehicles, crossing, parking, climate, policy, regulations |