Dutch government says scooters to stay on bike paths

Dutch government says scooters to stay on bike paths

Despite calls for scooter riders to be banned from bicycle paths, the Dutch government insists that the current rules should not change.

In December 2013, the four biggest Dutch cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague) wrote a letter to the government asking them to allow the cities to change the rules regarding scooters.

Currently, snorscooters, which have a maximum speed of 30 km (the blue number plates), are allowed on bike paths, while their riders do not need to wear helmets. Bromscooters, which have speeds over 30 km per hour (the yellow number plates), need to keep to the road with all riders wearing a helmet.

No changes to Dutch scooter regulations

In response to the letter, the Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment said in Parliament that the government would not change the current regulations, as the speed difference between snorscooters and cars was too great.

She also said that another request of the cities, to use radar and laser gun controls to take away speeding scooter riders’ vehicle registration, was legally impossible.

She pointed out that now police have greater powers to seize scooters that have been modified to go faster and fines for modification have also increased.

She also has hope for a speed-limit trial in Amsterdam, where limits on dangerous roads will be reduced to 30 km for all traffic.

Making traffic safer in the Netherlands

In November 2013, political party GroenLinks started a petition to get scooters off the bike paths, saying that this would improve road safety in one stroke.

Also, only a week before the Minister made her announcement, Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan was saying he planned to ban scooters from bike paths in the city.

"I can promise you it will happen this year," he said.

In 2012, there were 689 victims of scooter accidents in the four cities. Scooter riders make up one per cent of road users in Amsterdam, but they are responsible for 16 per cent of the accidents.

Sources: Government of the Netherlands, De Telegraaf

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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