Are you one of those people that makes calls or uses apps on their phones while cycling? Then you should reconsider. As of Monday, 1 July, you risk a €95 fine if you are caught doing this.
From that date, the prohibition of holding a mobile phone while driving will be extended to drivers of all kinds of vehicles – including bicycles. The use of mobile phones while driving a car has not been allowed for years now.
The good news is, this ban only counts if you are actually riding your bike. So, for instance, if you are waiting at a traffic light on your bicycle, you are still allowed to use your phone. But not once you start pedalling again.
Minister Cora Van Nieuwenhuizen is the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management. She proposed this more extensive ban. “Traffic accidents happen very quickly. They can also happen within a split-second on a bicycle,” Van Nieuwenhuizen says.
“It is, therefore, important for cyclists and other road users to pay attention to the road; not their phones’ screens. We often think we can multi-task but we cannot. The message is clear – if you are driving in traffic, keep your eyes on the road.”
The proposal also extends the term ‘mobile telephone’ to ‘mobile electronic device’. That means you can also no longer use other electronic devices such as tablets and cameras while on your bike. You may, however, use your device to do things like navigate, provided it is placed in a holder.
Translator: Melinda Walraven