Dutch 'Friendly Cyclist' initiative goes on tour again

Published Wed, 11/05/2016 - 06:31

Following on from last year's successful Friendly Cyclist Campaign, motor police and members of two motor clubs will again carry out joint checks on cyclists' road conduct. The checks will take place on Sunday 10 April and Sunday 29 May in the Heuvelland region, the southeasternmost tip of the Netherlands. The police will address and warn racing cyclists who cause annoyance or show negative behaviour. Racing cyclists who show good conduct will be rewarded with two green valve caps, the symbol of the friendly cyclist. The aim of the campaign is to draw attention to how cyclists’ behaviour – good or bad – affects fellow road users.

On these two Sundays, 12 motorcycles – six ridden by motor police of the Limburg Regional Unit and six by traffic controllers – will crisscross the Heuvelland region as part of the Friendly Cyclist Campaign-on Tour. The campaign grew out of the policy on racing-cyclists' tours in the Zuid-Limburg – Euregio region, which has now been adopted by twelve municipalities in Zuid-Limburg and the neighbouring Belgian municipality of Voeren.

The adoption of this policy, the formation of Velo-t, and the centralized coordination have led to a significant improvement in the distribution of the routes, the quality of the tours, and communication between organizers and municipalities. However, this is only one element of this campaign. For in addition to those taking part in organized events, there are many individual and recreational racing cyclists who go out cycling in the weekends and also contribute to the general picture people have of racing cyclists. This is why this campaign will also focus on the latter groups of cyclists and make them more aware of good and bad cycling behaviour and the consequences of their behaviour. On both Sundays, pairs of motor police officers will carry out checks at several locations in the Heuvelland region where unsafe situations are known to occur. This also picks up on the signals received from residents in the Heuvelland region, who frequently complain about the nuisance caused by cyclists on sunny days, for instance.

The campaign is the result of the collaboration between the Limburg police, the Limburg sports promotion body (Huis voor de Sport), the Limburg Regional Road Safety Authority (ROVL), the Motard Stein Foundation, the Euro Motard Service Foundation, and the Friendly Cyclist Foundation (Stichting Ik Fiets Vriendelijk), which has been promoting proper behaviour among racing cyclists for some years now. Racing cyclists who observe traffic regulations and respect the environment and other road users are presented with green valve caps, the symbol of the friendly cyclist. The campaign is co-financed by the province of Limburg, Velo-t, and the municipalities in the region.