The unequal size between lorries and cyclists by accidents often have a tragic outcome and affect both witnesses and relatives tremendously. In the media as well as in the public debate there is sometimes an increased focus on these types of accidents. This was also the case in 2013 partly because twice as many fatal accidents between lorries turning right and straight going cyclists was registered at the end of September compared to the entire previous year.
There is no official definition of a "right-turn accident". Generally, the term is used for all accidents between two parties where both parties prior to the accident have been moving in the same direction on the same road where one party (usually the motor vehicle) subsequently turned right in front of the other (usually a bicycle or moped). Right turn accidents can include accidents involving busses, lorries (including trailer), cars, bicycles, mopeds, pedestrians etc. Most right-turn accidents are registered by the police as occurring between a normal passenger car and a bicycle, while the most serious ones usually occur between a lorry and a bicycle. In fatal right-turn accidents, the turning party is nearly always a lorry. Two-thirds of these fatalities occur at signalized intersections. This strategy therefore focuses on right-turn accidents with lorries and cyclists only.
The objective of the project is to propose measurements decreasing the number of right-turning accidents.
In October 2013, the Danish Government decided to launch a three-stringed response against right-turn accidents. As a first step the Danish Road Directorate and Danish Transport Authority were asked to draw up proposals for measures in the short and long term. This input forms the background of this strategy.
As the second part of the three-stringed response, the Ministry of Transport held a stakeholder meeting with representatives from the transport sector. At this meeting, a number of constructive and solution-oriented proposals emerged.
In order to benefit from international experience in developing this strategy, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Transport as the third step composed a team of experts who visited a number of neighboring countries to collect valuable experience included in this strategy.