In the Netherlands, cyclists have to share the bicycle path with light moped riders. These riders are allowed to ride 25 km/h and do not have to wear a helmet (Dutch regulation). Due to several trends such as traffic congestion and the introduction of the scooter model, light mopeds have become more popular, both among older and younger people. This has led to an increased traffic density on bicycle paths as well as concerns about the safety of cyclists. In response to these concerns, several Dutch cities would like to ban light moped riders (LMRs) from the bicycle path and let them ride on the carriageway. However, it is uncertain what the consequences would be for the safety of light moped riders. Moreover, it is not clear to what extent the shared use of bicycle paths leads to serious crashes between cyclists and LMRs. Therefore, an in-depth crash investigation study was carried out to gain more insight into the factors and circumstances that influence the occurrence and consequences of light moped crashes on bicycle paths.
A dedicated team for in-depth road crash investigation collected and analyzed detailed information on 36 light moped crashes that occurred on an urban bicycle path. This resulted in a description of the course of events for every crash that was analyzed, including a list of factors that contributed to the occurrence of the crash and possible injuries. Crashes with a similar course of events and a comparable combination of contributory factors were grouped into (sub)types of light moped crashes.
Six types of crashes were identified. Based on the contributory crash factors of the identified crash types, remedial measures can be developed to prevent similar crashes from occurring in the future. Moving the LMR to the carriageway is only advisable on 30 km/h roads. Alternative measures to improve the safety of both cyclists and light moped riders include: 1) removing obstacles such as poles from the bicycle path, 2) following guidelines on the minimum width of bicycle paths given traffic volumes, 3) improving sight distances at intersections, 4) traffic light control without conflicts between traffic flows, and 5) introducing a helmet law for light moped riders and their passengers.