In July 2012 the Ministry asked for research proposals addressing single vehicle bike accidents amongst people over 50 and daring cycling behaviour of youngsters. The project called “Forgiving Bike Roads” was deemed to be the best candidate and will be implemented during the next three years. The investigation should lead to bicycle roads being designed in such a way that the number of single vehicle bike accidents will decrease while the remaining accidents will have less severe consequences.
Part of the research project will involve test subjects cycling around with cameras, which will identify the underlying causes of accidents. The focus will be on cyclists' behaviour on bike paths, how they experience safety factors, and how that relates to the design of the bike path itself and of the immediate surroundings. Research questions include: what are the most relevant features of bike paths, how do they influence cyclists, and what infrastructural requirements do cyclists have. In 2010 in the Netherlands, 60% of the 19.200 people severely injured in traffic were cyclists. 86% of these accidents were single vehicle accidents, and in almost half of these cases the injured cyclist was older than 54. Moreover, in 2011 as many as 200 cyclists were killed, compared to 162 in 2010.