Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 10:00
Most late-night bikers drunk: research
Research from the University of Groningen shows that almost all people out on their bikes late at night are drunk, a majority even with more alcohol in their blood than legally allowed. The researchers state that this is probably the reason why bikers have more accidents at night, De Volkskrant reports. Groningen University did research in Groningen and The Hague, going around the cities on a Thursday and Saturday night with a Dräger Alcotest 7510 breathalyzer. They approached around 1000 bikers between 5 p.m. and deep into the night, asking if they would blow into the device. Around 75 percent were willing. Not surprisingly, the time of night correlated with exceeding intoxication. Between 1 and 3 a.m., 89 percent had been drinking, and 68 percent had consumed more than the legal amount, which could cost them a fine of €140. The percentage only went up as time went on. Drug use among bikers was also polled. In The Hague, four percent said they use stimulants, and 11 percent did so in Groningen. A majority of these mixed drugs and alcohol, which raises the risk of an accident. Traffic psychologist Dick de Waard of the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, who led the study, says that the results could possibly be the same all over The Netherlands. "Groningen is a student city, The Hague isn't. But the pattern was the same." Bikers have more accidents at night. According to social scientist Divera Twisk of the Scientific Research of Traffic Safety Foundation, ten percent of bicycle accidents happen between midnight and sunset. Alcohol could play a role, she says. Since bicycle accidents do not usually put the lives of others at risk, police controls on alcohol consumption among bikers is not as ubiquitous as with cars. In The Hague, the police does execute tests every now and then. "We do that at places where young people kick the mirrors off cars or destroy light posts on nights when they go out", says police spokesperson Wim Hoonhout. "Many people ask if we don't have anything better to do. That is also a problem. We have too much work for too few people. Our priorities are with home invasions and jihadists."