Smartphones on Bikes Were Banned a Month Ago – But Did it Work?

Using Whatsapp op de fiets? €95. Google-mapping your way to a broodje? €95. Skipping songs from that Bach symphony to a Tay-Tay hit? €95. Using a phone while on the bike has been forbidden for one month now. But, a recent survey shows that most cyclists have refused to change their behaviour. 

The new law banned all cyclists from having electronic devices in hand while travelling, or risk facing a €95 fine. It was a huge change for the Dutch, who were used to doing whatever they pleased on the bike.

Nearly half of all 3000 respondents in the poll conducted by RTL Nieuws said that they didn’t pay any attention to the phone ban since it was implemented.

What did the public say?

Of the respondents, only 18 people had been unlucky enough to be fined by police, despite a crackdown during the first week of the law. Seven others were stopped by police, but escaped with just a warning.

Read More: 6 things you need to know about the smartphone ban for cyclists in the Netherlands

Almost 60% percent of those surveyed said they leave their phones in their pocket or handbag, while 42% find the need to WhatsApp more important than the law.

Is the law working?

The police service will not provide any figures on how many fines have been issued. Regardless, around 50% have changed their behaviour in some way. Of course, the young guns are using their phones more than those from an older generation. Some cyclists completely disregard the rule. Others keep their phones out of sight.

Some only use their phones now depending on the situation, but less than they used to. Other respondents were utilising phone holders that clip onto the steering bar, while others use a headset or smartwatch.

Inventive Solutions

Interestingly, some readers chose to put their phone out of use completely: on airplane mode in the bottom of the bag, or use an app that remde inds them not to use their phone while travelling.

And of course there are those that don’t care about the law, as long as they don’t get caught. A quick scan for police, and app away.

Have you been resisting the temptation to use your phone while on the bike? Been subject to a fine? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: Kevin Phillips on Pixabay

Samantha Dixon 🇦🇺
Samantha Dixon 🇦🇺
Sam has over six years experience writing about life in the Netherlands and leads the content team at DutchReview. She originally came to the Netherlands to study in 2016 and now holds a BA (Hons.) in Arts, a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and (almost) a Masters in Teaching. She loves to write about settling into life in the Netherlands, her city of Utrecht, learning Dutch, and jobs in the Netherlands — and she still can’t jump on the back of a moving bike (she's learning!).


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