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Bicycle - pedestrian collisions up in Tel Aviv

Electric bicycles pose potential threat, Transportation Ministry plans new regulatory legislation

The number of pedestrians struck by bicyclists in Tel Aviv rose dramatically this year with 1,612 emergency room visits to Ichilov Hospital in 2013 compared with 1,028 in 2012, Haaretz reported.

The new figures were presented yesterday at a meeting of Tel Aviv's transportation, building and infrastructure committee. Committee chairwoman Meital Lahavi cited the data in the presence of Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai.

Huldai explained that the increasing presence of two-wheeled powered vehicles such as electric bicycles is challenging lawmakers and may explain the increase in bicycle – pedestrian incidents.

Lahavi noted that there are no regulations on the operation of electric bicycles, which can reach high speeds.

The Transportation Ministry and the Israel Police are drafting a bill to regulate the use of such electric devices in hopes that it may curb the number of injuries.

The municipality is also advancing the idea of "bike boxes" which would be designated areas at intersections to stop bicyclists, allowing them to make safer turns.



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