As yet, the Netherlands has no plans to introduce a ban on using a phone or listening to loud music while cycling, a transport ministry spokesman has told the Parool newspaper.
Since May 1, Germans who use their phones while cycling are subject to a €25 fine. They can also be fined €10 for cycling while listening to loud music through headphones.
Dutch road safety campaigners say the same should happen in the Netherlands. ‘We are calling for change,’ Jose de Jong of Veilig Verkeer Nederland told the Parool.
‘Everyone has seen cyclists weaving in and out of traffic while phoning or has noticed a cyclist does not hear them because of the music,’ she said.
In a statement, the transport ministry said: ‘When we make something a criminal offence, the problem has to be evident and we have to be able to enforce it. That is not the case with cyclists who phone or listen to music.’
De Jong says enforcement may indeed be a problem but publicity campaigns alerting cyclists to the dangers would be one option.
Some 200 cyclists die in traffic accidents every year in the Netherlands and 71,000 are taken to hospital accident and emergency departments. Experts estimate at least 10% of these may be related to smart phone use.
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