Joint press release by:
ADFC, BUND, Bundesverband Carsharing, Changing Cities, DNR, DUH, Fuss e.V., Greenpeace, Klima-Allianz, Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband, VCD, VSF, Zweirad-Industrie-Verband ZIV and Bundesverband Zukunft Fahrrad
Federal press conference with alliance of associations plus bicycle industry:
"Modern road traffic law for everyone. Implement now!"
Berlin, 28 June 2022
A broad alliance of German transport, environmental and consumer associations with the bicycle industry is today calling for the reform of the German Road Traffic Act (StVG) to be clearly prioritized among the measures of the immediate climate protection program. To achieve the climate targets in transport, Germany needs not only a change in the power engine from fossil to electric, but a real change in transportation with a massive shift from trips away from cars. Only a comprehensive reform of the outdated StVG and the road traffic regulations based on it will ensure that German municipalities can consistently expand foot, cycle and local transport. The reform should also be implemented quickly and cost-neutrally. After the summer break, German Federal Transport Minister Wissing must present a draft bill, by the end of 2022 the law must already be adopted, according to the alliance's demand today at a federal press conference.
Ann-Kathrin Schneider, ADFC Federal Managing Director, is the initiator of the alliance. She says: "Of course we have to get out of the combustion engine – but this is not enough for sustainable transport. Above all, people need good alternatives to the car in the 21st century. The StVG is in essence still the motor vehicle law from the imperial era. It is completely antiquated and hinders the local municipalities in the transport transition. We appeal to Minister Wissing: "Go down in history now as the first Minister of Transport who really brings bicycles, foot and trains forward substantially – and those who makes modern mobility possible in the first place."
Burkhard Stork, Managing Director of the Zweirad-Industrie-Verband, says: "ZIV supports the demands of the alliance, because in order to achieve mobility transition, a modern legal framework must be created quickly, which gives the municipalities more possibilities, for example in the arrangement of cycling infrastructures or speed limits, and which finally creates a legal equality of active mobility with other modes of transport. People in Germany want sustainable mobility, they want to be able to cycle safely and they want – of course – seamless cycling networks. To achieve this, we need a Road Traffic Act that focuses on people and the environmental network and puts an end to car-centricity."
A modern constitution for the road
In the current Road Traffic Act (StVG), making rapid progress by car is more important than protecting people, their health or the climate. In practice, this means that, for example, protected cycle lanes, bicycle roads or large-scale speed limits of 30 km/h can often not be implemented by municipalities because the legal basis for this is missing. This can be deduced from the more than 100-year history of the StVG as a motor vehicle law. Today, however, roads, people and the climate suffer from a drastic excess of car traffic. A modern road traffic law must therefore clearly prioritise the environmentally friendly and space-saving modes of transport foot, bike and local transport over the car, according to the alliance.
About the Alliance
The alliance of 14 transport, environmental and consumer associations with the bicycle industry, formed on the initiative of the ADFC, has set itself the goal of reminding the Federal Government of the overriding importance of the StVG reform for climate-friendly transport – and of making concrete proposals for its implementation. The cyclists association ADFC, Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland BUND, Bundesverband CarSharing bcs, Changing Cities, Deutscher Naturschutzring DNR, Deutsche Umwelthilfe DUH, Fachverband Fussverkehr Deutschland Fuss e.V., Greenpeace, Klima-Allianz Deutschland, Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband, ökologische Verkehrsclub VCD, Verbund Service und Fahrrad VSF, Zweirad-Industrie-Verband ZIV and Bundesverband Zukunft are involved in the alliance.
90% of the bicycles and e-bikes produced in Germany in 2021 come from ZIV member companies. The ZIV (Zweirad-Industrie-Verband e.V) is the national representation of the interests of the German and international bicycle industry. These include manufacturers and importers of bicycles, e-bikes, bicycle components and accessories. As an industry association, it represents around 100 member companies vis-à-vis legislators, government, authorities, the media, institutions and organizations.