German blade runners seek legal status

Group calls for in-line skating to be recognised as environmentally friendly transport mode

In-line skating in Germany is not just a trendy sport but also an environmentally-friendly, daily transport mode and should be recognised as such in national roads legislation, environmental transport organisation VCD said today. Under current German law, skaters are classed as "pedestrians with leisure or sports equipment" and therefore can legally only use pavements.

The group told a parliamentary hearing that in-line skating was a low-emission, quiet method of transport with only a small degree of risk to other transport users. Some 2m Germans regularly use their skates as a means of transport, according to the Green party, which organised the hearing.

The VCD wants in-line skating to be included in a "sustainability amendment" to German road traffic legislation. It also wants skaters to be allowed to use cycle paths, for these to be widened so skaters can be overtaken safely by cyclists, an expansion of the urban cycle path network, opening of roads to skaters on Sundays, and introduction of more 30 kilometre-per-hour speed limit zones in urban areas.

Follow Up:
VCD, tel: +49 228 98 58 50, and press release. German Greens in parliament, tel: +49 30 22 75 55 18.

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