10,000 fines in two months: smartphone cycling ban hits hard

Having the world at your fingertips is nice and all, but sometimes it’s good to look up and observe the world around you. You don’t want to be looking at your phone, especially when you’re on your bike or driving your car, when something exciting is happening – like, you know, avoiding oncoming traffic or banging into a tree. But it seems like some people never learn a lesson.

A total of 9248 fines have been imposed in only the first two months of decreeing a ban on using phones while on the bicycle. 44,540 fines were imposed from May to August for using the phone while driving a car, twice as high as last year, reports NOS.

However, there was a total of 2,974,497 traffic violations (especially for speeding) from May to August, 8 percent less than the year before.

The fines for cyclists for using their phones is 95 euros. For motorists it’s a hefty 240 euros as a error from them could have far worse repercussions. The traffic fines are reviewed every four months by the Ministry of Justice and Security, the police, the Public Prosecution Service and the Central Judicial Collection Agency.

Image: Flickr.com user “Mo Riza” [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Eyes on the road and not on your phone

Egbert-Jan van Hasselt, a traffic police officer, regarded these numbers as “quite substantial”. He said on News & Co, an NPO Radio 1 program, “People focus less than before on the road. That is really a new phenomenon.”

The ban on using phones while on your bike was started from July 1. They had a major publicity campaign where they hoped to get more attention to a growing problem. But of course, as Van Hasselt says, one campaign is not going to change a lot. People have to take it upon themselves to pull away from the screen not just for their own safety, but for the safety of others as well.

So enough of DutchReviewing (among other things) on your phone when you’re on your bikes! We love ya, but we also want you to be safe.

Have you stopped using your phone while on your bike since the ban or have you been a naughty rebel? Let us know your stories of living outside of the law or even if you haven’t in the comments below!

Kavana Desai
Kavana Desaihttps://medium.com/@kavanadesai
Coping with the aftermath of her 3-year stint in the Netherlands, Kavana is a writer, content creator and editor for DutchReview. Hailing from India, she frequently blogs about the Netherlands, being Indian in the Netherlands, and everything in between. She envisions herself to one day be the youngest person to win that Nobel Prize for Literature (she is also not very humble but welcomes only constructive criticism). In the meantime, she fills her days with writing for DutchReview, writing her master's thesis on art theft, and writing fiction that will hopefully see the light of day soon.


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