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New rules for cyclists introduced

The cycling part of the road traffic regulations came into power on Sunday. Cyclists are now only allowed to use a phone with hands-free equipment. There will also be new ways to regulate cycling traffic.

There are 885,000 bikes in Styria (Southeastern Austria). This puts it in fourth place within Austria. Lower Austria is in first place with 1.2 million bikes.

According to the new regulations, it is now forbidden to use your phone whilst cycling. Violations will incur a penalty of 50 Euros. In individual cases, cyclists can also drive on the roads even if there are cycle paths, if the traffic allows it.

Road operators can also establish their own bike lanes on which cars can only drive in exceptional cases.

Another possibility is the construction of so-called "movement zones". Othmar Thann from the Austrian Road Safety Board explained what this means: "Everybody is responsible to ensure that no accidents occur. This means that all participants in these areas can only travel up to 20 to 30 km/h and all 'weaker road users' have priority."

The Ministry for Road Safety states that the introduction of such zones should lead to less traffic conflict and improved safety on the roads.

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