Will texting whilst driving become a criminal offence in the Netherlands?

Will texting whilst driving become a criminal offence in the Netherlands?

The answer is yes, texting whilst driving may very well become a criminal offence in the Netherlands. The majority of the Dutch House of Representatives is for a change to the law, which would class texting behind the wheel as reckless driving.

Zigzagging on the road

The minister of Infrastructure and Water Management has expressed concern about the use of mobile phones on the road, stating that every day, cyclists and motorists can be seen swerving about. She also communicated that the goal is clear, the number of road casualty victims must be reduced.

In order to set a good example for others, she is going to have the State Secretary’s official vehicle, as well as her own, modified so that the chauffeurs cannot use their phones whilst driving. 

Heavier penalties

At this moment in time, texting whilst driving is not allowed; however, this is not explicitly stated in the law and consequently, doing so usually carries a fine.

Recently, a woman from Texel hit a 21-year-old cyclist, who later passed away. The Public Prosecution Service called for a six-month prison sentence, as the woman in question had allegedly been sending text messages at the time of the accident. However, only 120 hours of community service were awarded due to insufficient evidence regarding the allegation.

The Dutch government wants to amend the law and class texting behind the wheel as an offence as severe as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Such an offence would thus carry a heavier penalty. For instance, you could have your driver’s license revoked or be sentenced to a period of time in prison.


Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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deastman 10:40 | 7 December 2017

i worked, now and again, over a period of years, in many ERs in the Bay Area(california)...i can't tell you how many accidents i saw that were caused by distractions. this was beFORE cell phones...fatal accidents. children or parents killed....lives torn apart violently. try adding using a cellphone into this equation... it simply amazes me that people don't realize the damage a one ton+ mass of metal can do at almost any speed....that young actor that died b/c his car ROLLED over him...(anton yelchin, i believe. something like that...). it ROLLED over him and killed him...i pity the person who might be texting and have some sort of collision with me...if they didn't need hospitalization because of the collision, they will when i'm through with them....even if i'm on the scene and saw it happen to someone else...same results...i'm REAL serious about this. make no mistake about will NOT escape unscathed...have a healthy day.

deastman 10:46 | 7 December 2017

oh really? deleted my last message, huh? boy you guys are quick to read responses...must not be any are some stats i dug up from google....each year, over 330,000 accidents caused by texting while driving lead to severe injuries. This means that over 78% of all distracted drivers are distracted because they have been texting while driving. i would hope that with the first offense there will be a mind blowing less than 1000e. the second time you lose your license. permanently. if you don't understand the potential of a mass of metal just ROLLING(witness the death of young anton yelchin, actor), much less going however miles an hour, you don't belong behind a wheel. this from a person who's worked in many ERs...get it together people...i can't believe that they've waited THIS long to make VERY strict laws about many deaths/injuries does it take?

deastman 10:48 | 7 December 2017

sorry about the deleted part. i got a mssg saying, 'could not send mail'. surprised me that it happened in the time i went and found some stats to, maybe, jog you that are sleepwalking and driving at the same time....that's the ONLY reason someone might not understand the potentials of texting and driving...