A quarter of the over-55s regularly drink and cycle, a survey commissioned by traffic safety organisation VNN has shown.
Despite the fact that the over-55s are not demonstrably unsafer in traffic than other groups, two thirds of the 228 cyclists who died last year were over the age of 50.
The survey among some 1,000 over-55s showed that although 90% said they would never drink and drive, alcohol use while cycling is less of a taboo. And quarter of cyclists said they had gone home after a night out having had more than two units of alcohol, which could put them over the legal limit.
VNN director Evert-Jan Hulshof said that older cyclists more vulnerable simply because of their age. ‘Their skills slowly decline with time, and faster e-bikes increase the danger. Our advice is zero alcohol when cycling. That is safer for seniors and other road users,’ Hulshof said.
The VNN has decided the findings are cause for a campaign to promote refresher courses for older cyclists with a focus on alcohol use in traffic.
Cyclists are breaking the law if they have an alcohol percentage of more than 0.05% in their blood – the same as for car drivers – and can face a fine of €100.
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