Scooters no longer welcome on the bike path in Amsterdam
As of Monday, April 8, scooters are no longer welcome on the bike path in Amsterdam. The drivers of these vehicles must now don a helmet and drive on the roads. There are, however, some signposted paths where bicycles and scooters still have to share the space.
Municipal measures to tackle congested cycle paths
Sending scooters off of the cycle paths and on to the roads is a measure that the municipality hopes will decongest the cycle paths, which were getting too crowded. The hope is also that this move will ensure better road safety. Scooters reach maximum speeds of 25 km/h, however, many are souped-up and reach speeds of 50 km/h.
Scooter drivers will have eight weeks to get used to the new rules. During this time, no fines will be given out for infringements. Teams of traffic controllers, 27 teams to be precise, will be present all across the city to help scooter drivers with the new rules. The Dutch city has also been adorned with road markings, in 56 locations where scooters need to move to the road, and 3.700 signs so that all road users are aware of the situation.
New scooter ban met with resistance
The new rules have not fallen in favour with everyone. In fact, more than 40.000 people have signed a petition to overturn the new ban. Those in possession of a scooter are afraid that they will be at risk on the road between cars which travel at a much faster speed.
Those driving the scooters are not the only ones unhappy at this moment in time; enforcement officers are threatening a strike if their demands for safety equipment are not met. These officers are asking for, amongst other things, a baton, pepper spray and a body cam in order to defend themselves if they are met with aggression.
Helmets to become obligatory across the Netherlands
In December, around 130 doctors called for helmets to be made obligatory across the country, due to the number of drivers without helmets ending up in hospital with brain injuries after an accident. Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen is working on a law that will make helmets obligatory for all scooter drivers across the country. However, it will take almost a year before this law is implemented.