Status: 05.12.2023, 15:23 PM
By: Andreas Steppan
Driving ban for motorcycles daily from 15 p.m. to 22 p.m.: This measure has been tested on the Kesselberg since this year in order to get the accident situation on the route between Kochel and Urfeld under control. (Archive photo) © Arndt Pröhl
Every day from 15 p.m. to 22 p.m., it is forbidden to ride a motorcycle uphill on the Kesselberg from April to October. After the first season of the new regulation, the eagerly awaited balance sheet has now been presented.
Kochel am See – "The first signs are positive – let's see what happens next": With these words, Georg Fischhaber, head of traffic at the district office, summed up the accident season on the Kesselberg on Tuesday. The results had been eagerly awaited. Last summer was the first in which new rules applied on the serpentine route of the B11: a much-discussed driving ban for motorcycles daily between 15 p.m. and 22 p.m. uphill. According to initial findings, this measure has borne fruit.
Significantly fewer motorcycle accidents on the Kesselberg this year
The members of the Transport Commission presented the interim results at a press conference in the district office. The relevant figures were explained by Simon Neubert from the Weilheim State Building Authority. The period between 1 April and 31 October was considered. During these seven months, the new driving ban was in force. Previously, according to Neubert, since 1978 the route was only closed to uphill motorcycles all day on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
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The all-important question now was: How would the accident figures change? According to Neubert, a total of 21 accidents were recorded on the Kesselberg this year. Twelve of these were caused by motorcyclists. Steffen Wiedemann, chief of the Kochel police station, even qualified that one of these twelve accidents was "not a classic driving accident", but had happened during an unfortunate turning manoeuvre.
Taking stock: (from left) Lars Werner and Steffen Wiedemann from the police, Georg Fischhaber from the district office as well as Martin Herda and Simon Neubert from the State Building Authority. © Arndt Pröhl
The accident figures for the years 2018 to 2022 were used for comparison. The number of accidents was significantly higher, at an average of 28.4, of which 20.8 were motorcycle accidents. The twelve motorcycle accidents this year "are significantly below the least number of accidents in the recent past," Neubert noted. That was in 2019 with 15 motorcycle accidents.
Shift of the accident occurrence to lunchtime
Wiedemann described it as a "great success" that this year not a single motorcycle accident occurred during the closing time after 15 p.m. in the direction of travel uphill. Nine motorcycle accidents occurred between 12 noon and 15 p.m. One, which was later registered, concerned a motorcyclist who – legally – was driving downhill, i.e. in the direction of Kochel. In the past five years, 78 percent of motorcycle accidents happened between 15 p.m. and 22 p.m., Neubert said.
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The experts noted a shift in the number of accidents not only towards lunchtime, but also with regard to the days of the week. Whereas on average in the previous five years there was only one accident on Sundays and none on Saturdays, this year three accidents each occurred on Saturday and Sunday, and another on the Ascension Day holiday. The former focus day on Friday, with an average of 6.8 accidents per year, has calmed down somewhat: in 2023, there were three Friday accidents.
Motorcyclists move to the Sylvenstein area
One fear in connection with the new driving ban was that motorcycle accidents could also be locally shifted to other areas. For this reason, the accident commission took a close look at the Sylvenstein area in particular, i.e. the B307 between Vorderriß and Kaiserwacht and the B13 south of the Breton Bridge. Many motorcyclists had moved there, Wiedemann said. The police have taken this from relevant forums on social media as well as from their own view. However, the number of accidents there did not increase. Seven accidents were recorded there, compared to an average of nine in the previous five years. "This is due to the increased surveillance," Wiedemann said.
The police showed a strong presence, especially at the Kesselberg itself, to control the driving ban. "There were surprisingly few complaints," Wiedemann said. Punctually at 15 p.m., the targeted clientele of the "sporty", often overpowered drivers, who drive up and down the curves again and again, was gone. In the event of a violation, a fine of 50 euros was due, and in the event of a repeat offense, 130 euros including fees and expenses.
The experts agreed that it was now necessary to wait for the second season of the trial period, which was scheduled to run until October 31, 2024. "Only then will we have reliable parameters to discuss further structural and police measures," emphasized Lars Werner, traffic expert for the police in the district. (ast)
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