European Mobility Week coincides with an important new Czech cycling law

Car-free events taking place in the Czech capital this week will highlight the importance of cycling as a sustainable mode of transport.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff
Published on 16.09.2021 13:27 (updated on 16.09.2021)

The pandemic encouraged greater interest in cycling as a way of getting about. Environmental concerns are meanwhile driving more and more people towards biking as a sustainable mode of transport. Now a new regulation requiring drivers to act with consideration when passing cyclists on the road has just been drafted into law.

Legislation approved this week by both chambers of the Czech parliament means drivers will have to pass cyclists at a distance of at least 1.5 meters or face fines of up to CZK 2,000. The new law with come into force in 2022

The change comes as the European Mobility Week kicks off in Prague, running from September 16 to 22. The event focuses on sustainable transportation, giving people the opportunity to learn more about active and environmentally-friendly ways of traveling.

This year's emphasis is the link between sustainable travel and a healthy lifestyle, underlining two key factors driving recent increased interest in cycling: climate change and the pandemic.

The European Mobility Week program will include a Car Free Day and a mobile bicycle service on the streets of Prague performing basic bike servicing tasks free of charge. As always, people will be encouraged to bike to work in an initiative supported by the AutoMat association

“The European Mobility Week has been organized by the European Commission since 2002 with the aim of promoting environmentally modes of transport, thus contributing not only to a more pleasant environment in the city, but also to the health of inhabitants. Let’s try out new means of transport on the way through Prague this week, and experience a different perspective of moving around the city,” said Adam Scheinherr, Deputy Mayor of Prague.

For a full lineup of events connected with the European Mobility Week in Prague, including car-free days and accompanying events for different neighborhoods as well as where to get free bike service in the Czech capital, see here.

The week will culminate with an all-day open-air event named “Mobility Day, or a celebration of healthy transport” in Náměstí Republiky, where discussions and interviews will be held with experts in transport, healthy lifestyle, and the environment.

Interactive experiences will also be offered, including a workshop on safe traffic behavior and a virtual bike ride on the streets of Prague or Wroclaw.

The initial proposal approved by the Chamber of Deputies called for heavy punishments, including maximum fines of CZK 10,000 and six-month driving license suspensions for breaking the 1.5-meter rule. The Senate subsequently watered down the legislation, reducing the maximum fine to CZK 2,000, removing the possibility for automatic license suspension, and postponing the introduction of the law until next summer.

The legislation is similar to laws protection cyclists in other European countries, such as Germany, France and Spain. As the Czech Republic looks to retain some of the gains made on the issue of sustainable transport brought about by the pandemic, cyclists can expect an easier ride on Czech roads in the future.

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