Dutch campaign to tackle night cycling without lights

Dutch campaign to tackle night cycling without lights

The start of winter also heralds the start of the annual campaign by the Dutch government to stop people cycling in the Netherlands without lights at night.

The Netherlands may one of the best cycling countries in the EU, but that doesn't stop people from riding unsafely by not using lights at night.

After the autumn school holidays, the police will again be double checking cyclists to ensure their lights are working properly.

Their campaign is called "I want to see you" and is part of an overall campaign by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment focusing on young people between 13 and 25 years.

This is because it is mostly younger people who cycle without lights and who therefore pose the greatest danger on the road. Only slightly more than half of Dutch people under 25 always use their lights at night.

Bicycle light rules in the Netherlands

For fixed lights, they must be white or yellow in the front and red in the back, facing directly ahead or behind and not flashing. Bikes with two front wheels must have two front lights.

For unattached lights, they must also be white / yellow in the front and red at the back, and face straight. They should only be attached to the upper body, not on the head, arms or legs, on clothes or bags.

They also must not be obscured by anything hanging over them and they can’t flash or move too much.

Bicycles must also have a red (not triangular) reflector on the back, yellow reflectors on the pedals and white or yellow reflectors on the wheel rims and tyres.

Fines for lights & reflectors

People can be fined up to 50 euros if they ride at night, dusk or during the day in poor visibility without front and rear lights.

Also, if the light is not the right colour, flashes or is attached to the wrong place.

There are also fines for riding without reflectors on the back of the bike, the pedals, wheels and tyres.

Sources: RTL, Government of the Netherlands

Alexandra Gowling


Alexandra Gowling

Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in Asia before coming to the Netherlands a year ago. She enjoys writing, reading...

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