BTA will use actual video recordings of cyclists, additional road signs, and other activities to prompt participants of road traffic to show more mutual understanding


Considering the increasing numbers of cyclists and traffic accidents involving cyclists, from this week on, the joint-stock insurance company BTA Baltic Insurance Company (henceforth referred to as BTA) will carry out social and educational activities to draw attention to on-road safety of cyclists and to prompt for mutual understanding and respect. The activities will be launched on Monday, 13th July. Five cyclists will travel within the streets of Riga to carry out field evaluations of the movement of cyclists and the risks they face daily while cycling along the streets of the capital. The cyclists will carry GoPro cameras to record their rides and any obstacles, issues, or accidents they might encounter.

As the culture of cycling develops, the numbers of cyclists increase annually. This brings along increases in the incidence of road traffic accidents involving cyclists. The data provided by the State Policy suggest that 323 road traffic accidents involving cyclists have been registered within the first six months of 2015. This is a 5% increase compared to the figures for the previous year. Both motor vehicle drivers and cyclists are responsible for the accidents. Often, pedestrians do not respect the specially marked cycling lanes and use them as pavements. This often results in collision between cyclists and pedestrians because cyclists are not always able to predict unexpected movements of such pedestrians. Motor vehicle drivers are often intolerant towards cyclists or fail to notice them. Cyclists themselves often cause road traffic accidents by making inconsiderate and swift manoeuvres on driving lanes of streets between vehicles, or on pavements.

Although situations on roads and pavements do differ greatly, one of the most frequent cases of accidents is lack of mutual understanding between road traffic members or failure to respect each other on the road. To facilitate mutual understanding between all the road traffic members, including drivers of motor vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists, and also caring for the safety of cyclists and other road traffic members, BTA will launch a package of educational activities this week.

In order to evaluate the safety of cyclists movement and the daily risks they face while moving along the streets of the capital, five volunteers will be cycling along the streets, including cycling lanes, across bridges, in parks, in popular places of gathering, and elsewhere in the capital for two hours from 11:00 o’clock on Monday 13 July (starting their rides from K.Valdemāra Street 63 in Riga). Each of them will wear a GoPro camera to record actual on-road events, and also use attached symbolic road signs with texts such as “One road for all”, “Share the road, friend”, “Honoured to drive along with you” to prompt for understanding between all traffic members. The volunteers will take another two-hour cycle ride at 17:00 in order to record the situation on the streets during the peak hours. The videos recorded during the rides will be used to make four video storeys for sharing in the social networks to draw public attention to how important mutual respect is for road traffic safety. The first recorded video storey might appear in the social networks already on Tuesday, 14th July.

Jānis Lucaus, Board Chairman of BTA Baltic Insurance Company: “Knowledge of the Road Traffic Regulations, mutual understanding between the road traffic members, and mutual respect are the key to overall improvement of on-road safety. Considering that increasing numbers of cyclists and higher levels of traffic intensity also bring along higher incidence of road traffic accidents involving cyclists as well as increases in the numbers of stolen bicycles, we developed an insurance package titled “BTA Bicycle Policy” last year,. The policy allows the cyclist to protect themselves from considerable losses in unexpected situations. The “BTA Bicycle Policy” includes coverage for three principal risks: injury or accident, theft of bicycle, or injury or damage caused to another individual or property/belongings. In order to avoid increases in the number of road traffic accidents, so that cycling is entirely enjoyable and involves no unpleasant incidents, and to assure that cyclists can cycle at full force while taking all precautions for their own safety and that of others, the society needs to be educated. By carrying out various educational activities, we want to prompt cyclists, pedestrians and motor vehicle drivers to be more understanding towards each other, observe the road traffic regulations, and care for their own safety and safety of other road traffic members.”

To prompt all road traffic members to show more respect and understanding on daily basis, additional road signs will be installed near the cycling lanes in Riga within the upcoming week, with texts such as “One road for all”, “Share the road, friend”, “Honoured to drive along with you”. A total of 10 such road signs are expected to be installed near the following locations:

  • The crossing of Skolas Street and Dzirnavu Street,
  • The crossing of Reimersa Street and Kalpaka bulvāris (near Radisson Blu Rīdzene Hotel),
  • On Elizabetes Street, opposite Jeruzalemes Street,
  • The crossing of Skolas Street and Lāčplēša Street (at Kaņepe Culture Centre),
  • At Spīķeru Promenade near the Central Market,
  • On the Suspension Bridge access near the swimming area,
  • The crossing of Daugavgrīvas Street and Āzenes Street (near the canal),
  • At Elizabetes Street 51 (opposite Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija),
  • On Lāčplēša Street at Tērbatas Street (at Jaunais Rīgas Theatre),
  • On Skolas Street (at Kaņepe Culture Centre).

By carrying out various activities throughout this summer, BTA will prompt to pay attention to the required cycling equipment and knowledge of road traffic regulations. Various contests will be held in BTA Facebook profile to simultaneously enable everyone to check their knowledge of road traffic regulations. Considering that many road traffic accidents involving injuries to or death of cyclists occur because motor vehicle drivers fail to notice them in the dark, special light-reflecting stickers will be available in cafes and places of recreation popular among cyclists, and also in several bicycle stores free of charge.

About “BTA Bicycle Policy”:
The “BTA Bicycle Policy” is a package of insurance services for cyclists which includes coverage not only for medical expenses in cases of injuries, but also compensations for any suffered injuries (depending on their severity), remuneration of losses incurred due to damage or complete loss, theft of the bicycle or robbery, as well as remuneration of the losses caused by the cyclist to any other individuals, such as pedestrians or other road traffic members, including cyclists and motor vehicle drivers. More information about the “BTA Bicycle Policy” is available on BTA website.

Information prepared by:
Agnese Grīnberga
Head of Public Relations
Insurance Joint-stock Company BTA Baltic Insurance Company
e-mail: agnese.grinberga@bta.lv
Phone: +371 67025661, cellular: +371 27828796