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29.042016

Court of Cassation: behavioural standards to be considered when determining the existence of an accident on the way to and from work in case of use of a bicycle

By judgment no. 7313 published on 13 April 2016, the Court of Cassation has ruled that, in order to assess the existence of an accident on the way to and from work in case of use of a bicycle, it is necessary to keep into account not only the distance between home and workplace but also of the behavioural standards in place in civil society. Therefore, according to the Court of Cassation the use of a bicycle should be evaluated in relation to social customs, normal family needs, availability of public transportation means, methods of organization of the same at the places where the use of bicycles is more widespread, the type of road taken (riding a bike along urban roads is different from riding one along non-urban roads), the configuration of the places, and the existing climatic conditions (and not so much seasonal conditions) and the propensity of laws to encourage the use of bikes. From the judgment of the court, it emerges therefore that the tendency to foster the use of bicycles, as a means able to abate economic, social and environmental costs, has become more pressing in our legal system. By now, many municipalities offer to citizens free bicycles for urban transportation to and from work, in order to achieve not only environmental benefits but also benefits for the health of citizens and, in the future, reduced health care costs for the national health system.