New numbers show that more than 850 people per week are fined for cycling while on their mobile device, reports NU.nl.
If you’ve ever been cycling in the Netherlands, you know it has its perks: the infrastructure is great, cars generally yield for cyclists, and the country is as flat as a pannenkoek — so there are no hills to conquer.
But while we wish we were all biking around blissfully, there are stacks of things that will get you fined while cycling in the Netherlands. One is cycling while holding your phone — and it’s not looked upon lightly. 👀
Banned since 2019
In July 2019, the Netherlands introduced the ban on cycling while holding your phone. Initially, the accompanying fine was €95, but it has later increased by a whopping €5.
While that €5 increase may not break the bank (although we’d prefer to spend that money on a serving of bitterballen) the important thing is whether the ban has changed anything on Dutch cycling lanes.
However, that’s unclear. But at least the municipality made some cash, right? 🙃
Why so unclear?
NU.nl reports that the registration of bicycle accidents in the Netherlands isn’t detailed enough to provide any conclusions on whether traffic safety has increased since 2019.
Nevertheless, numbers from the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (which also deals with traffic issues) show that the number of people using their phones while biking did decrease between 2015 and 2021.
These results are also vague though because the Directorate-General disclosed that the numbers can be based on chance depending on what day they’ve been counting and that, sometimes, there is in fact an increase.
Due to the coronavirus lockdowns and curfew in the past year and a half, the numbers have also deviated from what’s normal says Agnieszka Stelling, who specializes in cyclist behaviour and works at Institute for Road Safety Research (SWOV).
Fewer fines in the winter
On average, one third more fines are dished out in the summer months than during the winter.
The cause is likely seasonal. People simply don’t pull out their phones while cycling in the rain or wearing winter gloves. Seems logical enough. 🤷♀️
Do you see a lot of people in the Netherlands cycling while using their phone? What do you think of it? Tell us in the comments below!
Feature Image: itsajoop/Depositphotos