We reported a while back that within the Amsterdam ring road if you’re on a moped, you will need to stick to the road AND wear a helmet. This new law is due to take effect very soon – from the 8th of April.
For many people, this was a sigh of relief. They would finally ride their bikes to work and not have to worry about mopeds whizzing past. There has been a long campaign for this as the cycle lanes became too crowded. To put it into perspective there were 8,000 moped users in 2007 and in 2018 it climbed to 35,000 – a BIG jump. For moped riders, the news was not welcomed and many moped rides are now planning on selling up once the ban takes effect. De Volkskrant reports on a variety of different reasons why some young Amsterdammers are selling up.
One reason is that it can ruin how your hair looks on the way to work. Some people just don’t feel comfortable wearing a helmet and it looking well-groomed for work is just one of those reasons. Of course, this should never compromise on safety, but that’s just a reason some people would ditch the moped all together. A couple even said they didn’t want helmets to mess with their hair (the sweat in summer though). Helmets have always been met with resistance in the Netherlands, as for the most part they haven’t been needed.
People don’t feel safe on the road
Some people are also concerned about using their mopeds on the road and this is a big reason to get rid. Some people feel unsafe out there on the road with cars that may drive too close and try and overtake mopeds, knocking them off. Of course, cars go much faster than mopeds, so it’s causing anxiety around that. However, I guess you could also say the same for bicycles. Mopeds travel much faster than bicycles and I’ve seen firsthand people being knocked off and seriously hurt by them – so I guess can work both ways. Being hit by a car can cause significant damage though – so it makes this debate complicated.
Amsterdam has seen a spike in people selling up their mopeds, so it appears that this new law may have really taken an effect on moped numbers. So far Amsterdam is the first municipality to do this and this is not to say that they will be the last.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!