Fined for phoning while ‘fietsen’: over 850 cyclists caught on the phone every week

New numbers show that more than 850 people per week are fined for cycling while on their mobile device, reports

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? 🙃

READ MORE | 7 types of cyclists found when biking in the Netherlands

Why so unclear? 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

Christine Stein Hededam 🇩🇰
Christine Stein Hededam 🇩🇰
A Dane with a special place in her heart for Minnesota, Christine is now falling in love with everything Dutch. Between finishing her bachelor’s degree, learning Dutch, and doing yoga teacher training, you will find her wandering about the Hague. Always up for visiting new places, she loves to explore the Netherlands with friends and takes pride in scoping out cute cafés (wherein to discuss books, big plans, and food).
  1. A mere fine is no deterrent whatsoever; people riding a bicycle or a scooter using a phone should have the phone taken from them and the phone should be destroyed immediately as is. (Of course there will have to be a valid photo showing the person with the phone – there is no need to prove the phone was at that moment being used, just holding it is proof enough of a violation.)

    There is NEVER a circumstance or a situation where a person needs to use a cell phone while riding a bicycle or a scooter. Stop, dismount and then go back to watching TikTok. Simple.

    • Did someone hurt you? calling people while cycling is relaxing and it does not distrurb the cycling ability. If you have your phone out, but are not looking at it, then why would it be seen as dangerous? Additionally, many people hold their phones in their hand because they cannot fit them in the pocket, and aren’t even using them.
      Cycling while texting, or watching videos or reading, should be penalized (which it is). Cycling while using the phone in ways which do not disturb the ability of cycling, should not be illegal in my views, and even less to be so aggresive against it. No need to rage.


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