New rules for cyclists have been in force since April 1st as a result of the 30th amendment to Austria’s Road Traffic Regulations (StVO)
Riding your bike in Vienna is an easy way to get around, with a grand total of 1,379 kilometers within the city’s cycle path network. In addition, Vienna has 43,800 bicycle parking spaces (street signs not included) to accommodate cyclists, who account for about 7 percent of total traffic. To avoid even the slightest chance of suffering a head injury, Metropole suggests you always wear a helmet.
So, let’s get to the new rules that have been in force since 1 April!
- Facilities and clarifications for children driving micro-scooters
Children can use micro-scooters and other similar small vehicles unattended. There is no obligation to supervise the use of muscle-powered small vehicles from the age of 8 and up.
- Simplifications for priority rules for cyclists
The previous priority rule, which generally obliged cyclists to wait when leaving cycling lanes, led to unclear situations that were contrary to general traffic behavior.
The new regulations state that if there is a cycle ends, the “zipper principle” is applies, which is also prescribed for merging two lanes into one. In moving traffic, priority is given to road users who are further ahead.
- Flexibilization for using transport bicycles and larger bicycles
Bicycle facilities in densely built-up areas are often not dimensioned for larger bicycles. Also, some large cycle operators feel safer on bike paths – such as when transporting children.
Large bicycles and bikes with trailers up to a width of 100 cm can now be used either on roads OR cycle paths. Previously, the limit was 80 cm.
- New common crosswalks and cyclist crossings
The variant known as the “St. Pölten Model” combines crosswalk markings and the cyclist’s crossings, enabling the seamless crossing of roadways for pedestrians and bikers. Conflicts are reduced, since direction can be maintained along the common path – you no longer have to switch sides to cross.
- Bicycle pass access simplified
Previously bicycle passes (a sort of license that allows children to ride their bikes in traffic) had a minimum age requirement 10 years, which meant that some children could not be issued one after passing the examination. With the change in the law, children are eligible for bicycle passes immediately after passing the examination, provided they’re nine and in the 4th grade.