We already have shared cars, shared scooters, shared transport, and now from January 2024, more shared zones will be added to complement the well-known pedestrian zones. What will it actually be about, what rules will apply on the spot and what if a tram passes through the area?

We have prepared a legislative and human explanation for you together with Pavel Greiner from the King Driving School (Prague, České Budějovice). So let’s take a closer look at the novelty called the shared zone.

Shared Zone Definitions and Rules

A shared zone is a built-up area, the beginning and end of which is always marked with a specific traffic sign. It is also about a zone intended for use by all road users. Thus, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, drivers of cars, buses, and even trams can appear in the place.

Photo: Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic

From January 2024, the areas will be marked with Shared Zone and End of Shared Zone signs.

Since it will be such a mumble, it is an obligation defined by legislation exercise caution and consideration towards other road users. So in practice no one is allowed to threaten anyone except on the trams.

For trams in the shared zone, it is they may neither endanger nor restrict other road users. Also the tram always has the right of way in the shared zone. Humanly speaking, keep out of the way of the tram and always give it priority, whether you are a pedestrian, a motorcyclist, a cyclist or even a car driver.

Pedestrians and cyclists may use the entire width of the road in the shared zone, so yes, they can scoot along the middle of the road. However if a vehicle arrives with the right of way, pedestrians are obliged to clear space for this vehicle to pass.

Photo: BESIP

Cyclists and pedestrians will be able to move along the entire width of the road in the shared zone.

Although the shared zone legislation does not mention it, other road users must also allow vehicles with the right of way to pass.

Finally, we look at the maximum permitted speed, which is the same for all road users in the shared zone and is 20 km/h. Parking of motor vehicles is then allowed only in places marked as parking, while bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles can be parked in places designated for this purpose.

Limit and endanger

  • Not being allowed to restrict means the obligation to act in such a way that another road user is not hindered in any way.
  • Not to endanger means to act in such a way that no danger arises for another road user.

Why a shared zone?

And why did it all come about? On the one hand, due to unification with some other EU states that adopted the shared zone concept, and also to make it easier for road users to understand what it is all about.

“If we now have a pedestrian zone and there are not only pedestrians in it, but at the same time, for example, trams, bicycles and the like, it is better to give this zone a different name, as some other states in the EU have. It’s about the so-called coordination of people with other traffic in one zone,” explains Pavel Grainger from the King Driving School.

Photo: Michal Sakař

We will soon find shared zones mainly in city centers with mixed traffic.

And where do we find these shared zones? Mainly in city centers with mixed traffic of cars, public transport vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. Converted to the Czech lands, imagine it as follows:

  • Old Town Square, no tram service = pedestrian zone
  • náměstí Republiky (near Palladio), with tram service = shared zone

Although the rules in shared zones seem complicated, you just have to remember the priority of trams, respect for others, parking in designated areas, legal caution and a maximum speed of 20 km/h, which should be observed by absolutely everyone, including electric riders scooters.