Ban on holding your phone whilst cycling in the Netherlands
The long awaited ban on texting whilst cycling is finally coming! The ban was looked into by former Transport Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen and then revisited again last year by Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen.
Ban not just for bikes
This time around there is a twist, as the ban will not only apply to those cycling in the Netherlands, but to anyone operating a vehicle, be it a tram or mobility scooter. And it is not just for texting; the ban applies to just holding your phone, or any other mobile electronic device for that matter, whilst behind the wheel / handlebars of a vehicle.
Currently, it is prohibited to use your phone whilst driving either in a car or another type of motorised vehicle. Breaking this law carries a fine of 230 euros.
To make the new ban possible, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen has published draft legislation. It reads: “ It shall be prohibited to hold a mobile electronic device during the operation of any and all vehicles, including the bicycle”.
The draft legislation uses the term “mobile electronic device” as this is broader and thus keeps future technological developments in mind. This legislation does not apply, of course, if a vehicle is not moving.
Not long until enforcement in the Netherlands
The new rules concerning holding a mobile electronic device whilst driving or cycling will be put in place on July 1, 2019. Explaining the new legislation Van Nieuwenhuizen says, “this decision sets a clear and consistent standard: if you operate a vehicle, no matter the kind of vehicle, you should not be holding a mobile electronic device”.