The traffic accident statistics for Hamburg in 2022 are largely satisfactory from the point of view of the police. The total number of 61,017 accidents is lower than ever - with the exception of the two Corona years 2020 and 2021, in which public life in the Hanseatic city stood largely still for several months.
From the point of view of Police Vice President Mirko Streiber, it is particularly pleasing that the number of children injured in traffic accidents has fallen - also compared to 2021, when there was significantly less traffic in Hamburg than in 2022. 407 children were injured in accidents.
However, the people of Hamburg are concerned about a phenomenon: in 2022 there were around a third more accidents in which the driver had drunk alcohol than in the past five years. The increase is mainly due to cyclists and e-scooter drivers who had accidents under the influence of alcohol, according to the presentation of the traffic accident statistics on Tuesday in the town hall.
There were 211 accidents involving cyclists under the influence of alcohol. That was about five percent of all bicycle accidents, but three times as many accidents as in 2019 before Corona. 32 cyclists were seriously injured in their accidents, one drunk cyclist died.
The situation was even more dramatic for e-scooter drivers. In every fifth accident involving the small electric vehicles, the driver had previously been drinking. Of the 177 drivers involved in the accident, 175 were injured.
Interior Senator Andy Grote (SPD) announced stricter controls. "Anyone who takes part in road traffic under the influence of alcohol is a danger to themselves and others," said Grote. Contrary to what some drunk people believe, “bicycles and especially e-scooters are not an alternative to get home safely.” According to the Senator for the Interior, people have “been further” when it comes to curbing drunk driving. The police will "intervene consistently," said Grote, "including driving bans." The blood alcohol limit of 0.5 applies to e-scooters as it does to cars.
From the point of view of the opposition parties CDU and FDP in Hamburg, the city should not only rely more on alcohol controls for cyclists, but also take the increased number of bicycle accidents into account.
The number of bicycle accidents in 2022 was 4257 accidents. That was a good 700 more accidents than in 2019 and 550 more cases than in 2021. While the police attribute the increase in accidents primarily to the significantly increased number of cyclists in the city - the traffic authorities counted around 33 percent more cyclists in 2022 than in 2022 Year 2019 – the opposition sees flaws in Senate transport policy.
“Never before have cyclists been the cause or contributor to serious traffic accidents so often. This shows how dangerous and confusing the Senate's cycle paths are being planned and built," said Richard Seelmaecker, spokesman for transport policy for the CDU parliamentary group. "The disastrous statistics", according to FDP politician Anna von Treuenfels-Frowein, is proof "of the failed, even dangerous policy" of the transport senator. "Painting city-wide cycle lanes on roads previously reserved for motorists results in more dangerous situations, and in the worst case accidents."