More than 100 doctors have signed a letter calling for parliament to make helmets compulsory on mopeds.
The doctors say dozens of people a year are killed on low-powered scooters known as snorfietsen, which carry blue license plates and are allowed on cycle paths provided they have a maximum speed of 25 km/h. Helmets are only required for larger scooters with yellow plates, which have to use the roadway.
The doctors point out that the Netherlands is the only country in Europe where helmets are not compulsory for all types of scooter. ‘All over the country snorfiets users collide with objects or lose control of the steering. It often leads to traumatic head injuries and makes these accidents very serious,’ they wrote.
Neurologist Joukie van de Naalt, one of the leaders of the initiative, added: ‘The loss of brain function has a much greater impact on victims’ lives than permanent damage to other bodily functions.’
The traffic safety advisory research bureau SWOV recommended compulsory helmets on scooters back in 2012. The doctors are calling for this advice to be adopted as soon as possible.
The initiative comes on the eve of a debate on measures to improve road safety after the government last week set a target of eliminating road traffic deaths by 2030. Last year 613 people died on the roads, compared to 570 in 2014.
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