Police crack down on delinquent cyclists

Viennese police have promised to take action against lawbreaking cyclists.

Officials in the capital announced today (Mon) intense controls would be carried out especially in the city centre. They argued their decision had to do with the large number of tourists visiting Vienna at the moment. Police explained they wanted to avoid an increase of accidents involving holidaymakers and cyclists who ride on sidewalks and in pedestrian zones. Cyclists can be fined as motorists if being caught breaching traffic rules.

The number of residents of Vienna who opt for bicycles to go to work and get along in their free time has been on the rise. However, the city is doing badly in European comparisons. Cycling took a share of three per cent in overall traffic activities in Vienna in 1993. This figure rose to six per cent in 2009. The Viennese government coalition of the Social Democrats (SPÖ) and the Greens said its target was to raise the share by another six per cent until 2015. Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is doing best in this regard. Cycling claims a share of 38 per cent in the city at the moment.

Around 51 per cent of households in Vienna own a bicycle, while nearly six in 10 possess a car. Around one in three homes feature at least one person with an annual public transport pass. Approximately 34,000 of Vienna’s 1.7 million inhabitants are using their bikes to get to work, according to the Austrian Traffic Club (VCÖ).