Italian Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli today applauded Italy’s ongoing successful reduction in cycling fatalities since the introduction of Compulsory Single File in 2014.
Speaking in Milan at a press conference in the offices of the Italian National Institute of Statistics the urbane and charismatic Toninelli said the latest road safety data regarding cycling fatalities was a victory for common sense in the face of immense resistance from many cycling lobbyists.
In the past 6 years the number of cyclists who have died each year on Italian roads has fallen 30% from 273 to 187. Minister Toninelli says the success can be placed firmly at the feet of his controversial Compulsory Single File legislation which he personally sponsored as a Parliamentary Bill in 2014.
“Like many Italian men, I raced bicycles for many years,” said Toninelli, who remains supremely fit well into his 40s. “My decision to support Article 182 back in 2014 was not without resistance. But common sense prevailed. The data cannot be argued with. We are saving lives.”
“We have seen many members of the European Union not have such good luck as the Italian people,” he continued. “You could say they have ignored the lessons we have learnt and are still learning. Austria for example has seen cycling fatalities grow by 54% in the last 10 years. And The Netherlands has the highest rate of cycling deaths per capita, and continues to worsen .”
Minister Toninelli concluded by saying his support for Article 182 was not without cost, noting it had made him unpopular with many of his former cycling friends, but he remains unrepentant.