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These are the most common dangerous Danish cycling habits

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
These are the most common dangerous Danish cycling habits
A survey of cyclists in Denmark has revealed the most common traffic infractions they are likely to commit. Photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

A new survey has revealed some of the most common habits that cause potential hazards on Denmark’s bicycle lanes.


Running red lights, riding on the pavement and in the wrong direction are all common habits among cyclists in Denmark that negatively impact road safety, according to a new survey conducted by polling institute YouGov on behalf of insurance company Gjensidige.

The survey, conducted among 1,008 people in Denmark in February, asked whether they as cyclists had themselves partaken in any of a list of actions while riding their bicycles.

These included ignoring red lights, riding on the pavement and on the “wrong side” of the road (by going in the opposite direction to the traffic), all of which can elicit a traffic fine.

Almost a third of people said in the survey that they have veered onto the pavement, one in four have turned right on a red light and one in six have cycled on a pedestrian crossing.

Police routinely run campaigns aimed at bicycle lane discipline, which often results in scores of fines being issued for transgressions like those listed in the survey. For example, a fine of 1,000 kroner can be given for riding over a red light.


It can meanwhile cost a fine of 700 kroner if you are stopped by a traffic officer while riding on the pavement, on a crossing or on the wrong side of the road.

READ ALSO: IN NUMBERS: How much do Danes use bicycles?

“It’s obviously a nuisance to get a fine if you think you know what you’re doing when you quickly go through a red light or ride a bit on the pedestrian crossing. But we actually see some serious injuries where cyclists are involved and even though many use a bicycle helmet, you are still a ‘soft’ road user,” Gjensidige’s injuries manager Lene Rasmussen said in a press release.

Many of the bad habits uncovered by the survey also relate to mobile phone use. Ten percent said they have used their phones in their hand to send messages or check social media while cycling. The same proportion made calls on their phone, while five percent have taken a selfie.

Geographically, the segment of people who admitted to bad habits were 18-29 year-olds in the Greater Copenhagen region.

“It’s generally positive that many are preferring bicycle to car. But in cities there are many things that can interplay to cause accidents. That’s why this is closely related to staying focused on the bicycle and not doing all sorts of other things at the same time,” Rasmussen said.

A table showing the survey’s results can be seen below.

Source: Adapted from Gjensidige/YouGov press release


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