Local councils will be able to ban mopeds from bike lanes and moped riders will need to wear helmets on roads, transport minister Melanie Schultz-van Haegen has decided.
She is making the change in law after calls from the big four cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht for mopeds to be moved from bike lanes and for compulsory helmets.
The minister is not in favour of a nation-wide change but will make it possible for local councils to make their own decision on the matter, news agency ANP reports.
The councils say 77% of mopeds (snorscooters) go faster than the permitted 25 kph, and are both a danger to themselves and other road users.
In Amsterdam, almost half of the people killed in traffic accidents last year were driving a moped. In 2012, moped drivers were involved in 689 accidents, most of which took place on cycle lanes, the Parool reported in December.
In a reaction, motoring organisations RAI and Bovag said they are against the move. ‘A helmet will not prevent accidents and moving mopeds on to the roads will not solve the problems on bike lanes,’ a spokesman told ANP.
The Dutch cyclists union Fietsersbond has welcomed the minister’s apparent change of heart. ‘Moving scooters off the bicycle paths makes absolute sense from safety, environment, and traffic perspectives. We are optimistic that parliament will make the legislative changes necessary for this to happen,’ spokesman Wim Bot told DutchNews.nl.