MYBIKE 2020/04

SITTING SAFELY

The bike taxi is a trend. But how safe are the child carriers and what makes the systems fit for road traffic?

Kids love cycling as passengers – also as passengers in a child seat. But are the little ones safely placed on and in the seats of the cargo bikes?

Dirk Zedler, bicycle expert and managing director of Zedler-Institut für Fahrradtechnik und -Sicherheit, points out that bicycle safety lies above all in the responsibility of the manufacturers. According to Zedler, the manufacturers are not completely free in their actions: “They have to comply with the specifications of relevant DIN standards.” However, the standards do not provide specific provisions on the design of child transport systems. They only set out protection scenarios and minimum requirements, i.e. the vehicle must not pose a risk for children. The parts have to withstand a strength test and the seat systems must be designed in a way that no limbs can be trapped. Body parts must not get into the spokes and a contact with sharp edges must be avoided. The technical expert refers to one specific requirement: “Child seats must have appropriate restraint systems, at least a three-point belt.”
In any case, the expert recommends to take a close look at the safety aspects: “When purchasing a child seat – preferably from a specialist dealer – make sure that the seat or the transport system complies at least with the DIN standard, or better still, has a test seal, e.g. from the German Association for Technical Inspection (TUEV). Pedelecs, including e-cargo bikes, must have a CE-mark in general.

Graduate engineer Dirk Zedler, bicycle expert
„Serious accidents often happen when loading cargo bikes. Therefore, kids’ transporters need sturdy kickstands.”

Author: Uli Frieß

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