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Permanent light on bicycles reduces accidents significantly (Odense, Denmark)
Background & Objectives
In Denmark cars have had permanent light since the change in the traffic regulations in 1990 and this reduced accidents among cars. So when the City of Odense were contacted by a new manufacturer of bicycle lights, it was obvious to consider if the same results could be achieved for cyclists as well.
The lamps (www.reelight.com) produce light without batteries and therefore they run all the time. The new lamps are fastened to the hub. 2 magnets are fastened to the spokes, and when they touch the lamp glows. There is no friction. The lamps give a good light day and night. The project will show whether the lamps further ensure the safety of the cyclist.
Furthermore the lamps have other advantages:
- you will never forget the lamps
- the batteries never run out
- you spare the environment for 20,000 batteries a year
Odense Municipality conducted a large-scale trial in cooperation with Aalborg University where 2000 cyclists had permanent lights fitted on their bicycles.>
For one year, the group continuously reported any traffic incidents at a website. These data have been compared to corresponding data from another group of 2000 cyclists with traditional bicycle lights.
The project has shown that the cyclists with daytime bicycle lights have 32% fewer accidents than the control group. The effect is particularly noticeable during the summer season when the reduction is up to 40%.
98% of the cyclists expressed satisfaction with the lights used and 60% felt safer than before they used the lights.
The results are so remarkable that this generated a debate on a possible change of the Danish rules for lights on bicycles. For example, it could be considered whether new bicycles should be sold with permanently fitted lights and that they are, of course, used during the daylight hours.
One year after the test the manufactory has sold more than 100,000 set of lights.
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This Case Study is part of the European urban mobility and transport best practice collection from Eltis - www.eltis.org.