The increasing number of citizens turning to cycling instead of using public transport for protection from the virus has revealed the existing infrastructure deficiencies in this regard in cities.
Citizens had to turn to bicycles in order not to use public transportation due to the increase in coronavirus cases. Rahime Çelen, President of Eskişehir Cycling Association (Velesbid), explained that if the necessary regulations and inspections are not made, accidents that may result in injury and even death may increase, “The deficient infrastructure services should be completed in this regard. In this direction, bicycle paths, necessary markings, signaling and speed checks should be made. We expect the Ministry of Interior to impose the necessary sanctions. Lack of these causes people to act irregularly and thus to accidents ”.
"Bicycle deaths increased"
Eskişehir Bicycle Association President Rahime Çelen stated that the bicycle is a very useful means of transportation because it does not harm the environment and makes the body work. Stating that it is an obligation for people to turn to bicycles in order not to use public transportation due to the pandemic, Çelen said, “People prefer transportation by bicycle. However, the number of bicycle deaths and accidents has also increased. Because there is not enough infrastructure for bicycle transport services in Turkey. While saying this, we expect the bicycle paths, necessary markings and signaling, speed checks and the necessary sanctions of the Ministry of Interior for safe transportation. Lack of these causes people to act irregularly and thus to accidents ”.
"Cities should be organized with a focus on people"
President of Eskişehir Bicycle Association continued by talking about how the problems of bicycle transportation in urban transportation can be solved: “In order to solve the problems of bicycle transportation in urban transportation, first of all, cities should be organized with a focus on people rather than motor vehicles. Priority should always be the pedestrian and the most innocent means of transportation, the bicycle. If this happens, the vehicle traffic in the city especially in the center decreases. For example, there are no intersection connections for bicycles in Eskişehir. There are bicycle-friendly countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark, which we always cite as examples in Europe. As the density increased due to the pandemic this year, arrangements were made at all intersections there. Arrangements have been made to ensure that bicycle transportation is more fluid and cyclists can cross intersections more safely. Responsible for doing this are the Transport Coordination Center (UKOME) and the municipalities. I hope all problems are resolved as soon as possible ”.
"Cyclists should also follow the rules"
Stating that cyclists are also obliged to obey all traffic rules like all drivers and pedestrians in traffic, Çelen underlined some rules and said: “Passing in the red light, using a phone or carrying something else while cycling, riding one-handed, disturbing someone else, traffic Behaving in a disruptive way All these are wrongdoings, prohibited, they have criminal sanctions. There is a lack and inadequacy of information in our cycling laws. For example, in the highway traffic law, the bicycle is a road vehicle and it cannot go wherever it wants. If there is a bicycle path, he must use it. Otherwise, up to two cyclists can use the far right lane on the roadway. Other movements are wrong. In addition, the bike rider can travel at most thirty kilometers in the city, but not further. This limit is 45 kilometers on the intercity road. Other than that, there are criminal sanctions for the opposite behaviors ”.
"Put on your helmet"
Act on bicycles while wearing a helmet Rahim indicating whether the obligation Çelen, "bike-related non-governmental organizations like us, Turkey's helmets in a country which is risky in terms of the use of bicycles like to become a legal requirement demands. If cyclists do not obey the laws in traffic, there is a penal sanction. Bicycles and other vehicles are equated with violations such as crossing the red light and entering the pedestrian path. In other words, cyclists also have to obey these rules, ”he warned.
"The responsibilities of the automobile and the bicycle driver are equal"
Stating that the car driver and the cyclist faced the same penal sanctions, Çelen said, “Although there is a separate bicycle path, the penalties for the crimes such as cycling on the highway, crossing the pedestrian path, riding more than two bikes side by side on the highways, cycling by letting go of their hands, taking over load and passengers are 288 lira. In addition, the penalty for driving with a phone in hand is the same as for committing the same crime while on a bicycle. This is also true for behaviors such as drinking alcohol, riding a red light, "he said.