There has been a 68% rise in the number of people over the age of 70 dying in bike accidents over the past 20 years, according to a new analysis by the national statistics agency CBS.
This is due to both the rise in the size of the elderly population and to the increasing popularity of cycling, which has been boosted by the rise of the e-bike, the CBS said. The number of over-70s in the Dutch population has risen by 56% since 1999.
In total, almost three in five of the people who died in bike accidents last year were over the age of 70. By contrast, the death rate under the under-30s has gone down by 64%.
Some 200 people are killed every year in bike accidents, a figure which has remained fairly constant for the past 20 years.
At the same time, fewer people are dying in car accidents – which went down from 587 in 1999 to 237 last year. The over-70s account for one in five car-related deaths, while the under-30s make up 35% of the total.
The government has introduced a string of measures aimed at improving road safety over the past 20 years, including a get-tough approach to drink driving, a ban on the use of phones and a special driving licence for beginners.