A survey conducted by BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS (hereinafter – BTA) indicates that the majority of cyclists (63%) consider cars to be a threat to their safety. A total of 88% of those surveyed do not feel safe moving along the streets of Riga by bicycle.
Data of the survey that BTA conducted in July indicates that only 14% cyclists feel safe moving along the streets of Riga by bicycle, the cyclists’ major threat was named to be cars (63%) and poor infrastructure, potholes (31%). Respondents have become anxious for car driver carelessness or infrastructure after road traffic accidents, caused by some of these factors.
Nearly each surveyed cyclist or 94% has seen another bicycle rider violating road traffic regulations (hereinafter RTR), but only 10% of the surveyed admit that the reason of accident has been their own carelessness. BTA Insurance Claims Handling Department Director Kārlis Liepiņš says: “Although almost anyone has seen bicyclists breaching road traffic regulations, the major part, or 53% respondents consider themselves to be law-obedient, that they do not violate the traffic rules and have been driving safely. But, it may not either be asserted that cyclists are the only ones to blame for causing accidents or dangerous situations. Causes for such situations can also be the poor or non-existent infrastructure, lack of knowledge of or disregard for the RTR, weather conditions, etc. A significant factor is also a change in social lifestyles. Some time ago, there were less car drivers, and bicyclists were safe to drive, now the automobile traffic flow has considerably increased, as well as the number of cyclists. Thus, there is no more room for all on the driving section of the road.” Kārlis Liepiņš also is truly glad to observe environmental improvement works going on and situation gradually brightening, although there is much to be done in areas of educating road users and their tolerance towards each other.
BTA suggests pupils’ parents to pay particular attention to the RTR and observing them – with the school time nearing, many kids will go to school by bicycle on their own. An important thing is to revise the road traffic regulations together with the child before the school starts, and remind that the helmet worn instead of left at home or stashed in the school backpack is not just safe, but stylish as well. It is particularly importance because, with school kids returning to the city from their country homes or trips, the traffic intensity is going to considerably increase, and if the pupil is not careful, even with the RTR observed, this carelessness may still run into bad luck.
BTA Baltic Insurance Company is a major insurance company in the Baltic States, offering the broadest range of non-life insurance services in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The largest shareholder of BTA is Vienna Insurance Group AG, one of the leading insurers in Europe with 190 years of experience in the insurance field. More than 50 companies in 25 countries constitute the group, which employs 24,000 employees. Vienna Insurance Group AG is a clear leader in its core markets in Europe maintaining high rating of financial stability – Standard & Poor’s A+ (stable outlook), with a listing on the Vienna and the Prague Stock Exchange.
Marketing and Public Relations Department Director
BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS