UPDATE 2/04/2022: Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble but we couldn’t skip out on our yearly April Fool’s Day prank. 😁 Catch y’all next year!
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has announced that the Netherlands will introduce car-free Sundays from this month.
The first Sunday of every month will now be completely car-free — driving cars, trucks, and other vehicles on streets or highways will be against the law for the full 24 hours. 🚗
Returning to the roots
The Dutch Cyclists’ Union (Fietserbond) has lobbied the Dutch government for a long time to include one day free of motor vehicles every month. And they have finally succeeded in convincing the cabinet! 🎉
The Netherlands is already so bicycle- and public transport-dependent, the Dutch Cyclists’ Union argued Dutchies would survive without cars. Lekker fietsen, hé? 🚲
Unsurprisingly, the Dutch Cyclists’ Union is a pretty tough organisation — before you know it, they might go after cars every day of the week. 🤯
“Autoloze zondag” (Carless Sunday)
This isn’t the first time the Netherlands is doing car-free Sundays. The Dutch government announced a ban on cars for a number of Sundays from November 1973 to January 1974. And the circumstances are pretty similar too. 😬
The Netherlands was facing a pretty serious petrol crisis and the government decided to curb oil consumption and ration fuel by introducing these vehicle-less days.
Now, the Dutch government wants to take serious strides in saving everyone some money and lowering the country’s carbon footprint, given the extremely high gas prices, climate change, and fossil fuel consumption.
Ever since Shell ditched the Netherlands for the UK, they’re making an extra effort to stick it to them and their oil. 👊
Imposed fines and penalties on violations
And to seal the deal, the Dutch government is even adding new types of fines and penalties system for anyone caught with their car out of the garage:
|Where you are driving||Imposed fine|
|Highway (Outside Randstad)||€600|
If they catch you more than three times driving in your vehicle on a car-free Sunday, they plan to tow your car away and swap it for a bike.
“We can’t be expected to cover all of the costs for extra fuel usage and the road tax”, says a spokesperson for the Dutch government.
The government intends to use the bicycles fished out of the canals as these replacement bikes for those who get fined (call that Dutch “re-cycling”). Bell and lights NOT included. 😡
To make matters worse, when you do the ride-of-shame away, the municipality enforcement officers will slap you with a fine for the lack of lights too.
No problem for us! We’re ready to hop back on our bikes and use the reliable and trusted Dutch public transport system. 💪🏼
How are you planning on getting around the Netherlands in the coming car-free Sundays?