While America is trying hard to be the king of regulation....Germany is firmly in the first-place position. This week (the 1st)....more regulation came out on bicycling and fines. Examples?
Riding a bike with no bell or horn? Fifteen Euro fine.
Carrying a kid on your bike without prescribed safety devices? Five Euro fine.
Carrying a person over seven years old on a single-seat bike? Five Euro fine.
Talking on a cellphone without a hands-free device? Twenty-five Euro fine.
Riding a bike with headphones on? Ten Euro fine.
Missing a red light while riding a bike? Sixty Euro fine, oh.....and one point deducted off your driving record.
Being stupid enough to cross a railroad cross while the barrier is down and train approaching? Three-hundred-fifty Euro, with two points deducted.
Running a pedestrian cross (the zebra lines) while folks are crossing? Forty Euro fine.
No light on your bike, or the bulb is broke upon examination by the cops? Twenty Euro fine.
Your brakes not working (pretty stupid offense if you ask me)? Ten Euro fine.
Holding onto a moving vehicle while riding your bike (a common event in most German cities)? Five Euro fine.
Riding a bike on a walking trail (another common event in Germany)? Twenty Euro fine.
Riding a bike on the left-hand side of the road or street? Fifteen Euro fine.
Showboating in a walking area with your bike and upsetting walkers in any fashion? Fifteen Euro fine.
Riding a bike with no hands (a major thing we do in Bama)? Five Euro fine.
There's another ten new odd rules, but these are the ones that I tend to see on a weekly basis as I walk around Wiesbaden.
A bunch of rules on biking.....necessary? Well.....Germans are enthusiasts of an orderly society where things flow on a logical and safe basis. These listed are simply new rules that came into effect here on 1 May 2014. More by 2016 or 2017? Yeah, I'd quietly expect the bike safety mafia to continue their fine work and try to engage on another dozen rules (like red/yellow safety vests while biking, and biking gloves required while in operation).
I noted a few months ago....a couple of Swedish engineering students had devised a new impact safety vest....when you came off a bike attached device (like a cable or string).....it'd automatically inflate in a quarter-of-a-second and protect the rider from serious injury. It's still three years away from production and marketing....but I expect it by 2020 to be a mandatory device for all European bikers (and another cost item).