Fines for mobile-using cyclists soon to come into force in the Netherlands
That’s right. It has been a long time coming, but finally, as of July 1, 2019, cyclists caught using a mobile electronic device without a hands-free kit will face a fine of 95 euros. For years it’s been illegal to use a mobile whilst driving a car, now, this law will be extended to any drivers of any kind of vehicle.
Banning texting whilst driving for all vehicles
The ban is a result of the Cabinet’s approval of the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management’s proposal on the matter. It only applies to those who are actually operating a vehicle at the same time as they are using / holding their phone.
If you are waiting at a red light on your bike, for example, you are allowed to use your phone. However, keep in mind that you don’t block off the road for others, should the traffic light turn green and you need a couple more minutes to reply to your text messages.
If you do decide to chat to someone on the phone, check your messages or even just hold your phone whilst cycling, you will be fined 95 euros. This may sound like a hefty sum for peeking at your texts, but it is in fact in line with many other fines you can receive when cycling. For example, cycling whilst under the influence will cost you 100 euros, jumping a red light will set you back 95 euros and failure to give right of way at a zebra crossing will result in a penalty of 150 euros.
The ban now not only encompasses car drivers, cyclists and other road users, it also applies to tram drivers, who, if found using a mobile electronic device whilst operating a tram, can expect a fine of 240 euros. This is the same amount as car drivers and motorcyclists are currently fined for holding a mobile whilst driving.
Not just smartphones
It’s not just smartphone use that will be banned, but the use of any kind of mobile electronic device whilst operating a vehicle, such as tablets or cameras. Using the term “mobile electronic device” allows for future technological developments to be taken into account too. “The message is clear: if you are on the road, you should pay attention to it”, expresses Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen.
Do you use your phone for navigation when cycling? You will still be able to do so after the ban comes into effect, however, it must be secured to your bike via a phone mount.