More than 80% of cyclists have working lights on their bikes, a significant increase in the last 20 years, according to figures compiled by two motor trade organisations.
At the turn of the century less than half of cyclists had a complete set of working lights and more than 40% had none at all.
The change has been put down to improvements in technology, as many modern bikes come with LED lights built into the frame. Older bikes were equipped with dynamo lamps that stopped working when the connecting wires rusted in the rain.
According to RAI Vereniging and Bovag, who compiled the figures, 87% of cyclists have a working front light while 82% had a back light.
Cycling safety organisations said awareness campaigns in recent years had contributed to the higher numbers as well as better technology and the greater availability of clip-on lights.
In a recent survey by Veilig Verkeer Nederland, 82% of cyclists said they always used lights after dark, partly to avoid a fine but also because they were concerned about the risk of accidents and poor visibility.
The research by RAI and Bovag also found that bike sales were down by around 16% last year to 923,000, the lowest number in six years. Delivery problems during the pandemic were partly responsible for the low number of sales.
However, turnover in the cycle trade was down by less – 8.7% – as people upgraded to more expensive models and e-bikes. Sales of e-bikes with a price tag of €2,700 or more were up by 6%.
The total number of bicycles in the Netherlands also increased by 300,000 to 23.4 million, including 3.4 million e-bikes. That means that on average there are 1.3 bicycles for each of the 17.6 million people in the Netherlands.
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