Saturday 15 May 2021

More fatal accidents as e-bikes grow in popularity in the Netherlands

More people are now being killed on the Dutch roads while riding an electric bike than in moped accidents, according to new figures on traffic-related deaths.

Since 2014, at least 79 people have been killed in road accidents while using an e-bike, of whom 87% were over the age of 60, police figures show. An e-bike is a normal bike fitted with an electric motor and sales have been soaring in recent years.

The death toll is ‘very worrying,’ police spokesman Egbert-Jan van Hasselt, who heads a road safety team, told the AD. ‘People are staying active for longer and are more likely to go for an e-bike. But unfortunately, some of them lack the skills to control them.’

Van Hasselt says people should take a course in using an e-bike. ‘They are not a normal bike,’ he said. ‘They give you and extra boost and sometimes that happens when you don’t expect it.’ In addition, older users should wear a helmet, Van Hasselt said.

Another problem is that bike paths are becoming busier, with a greater variety of two-wheelers, and that brings its own problems, he said.

Last year, 629 people died in road accidents in the Netherlands, of whom 189 were cyclists, and 28 were on e-bikes. Police do not expect a downward trend this year.

According to RTL, most deaths occur on roads where the maximum speed is 50 kph and 41% of people are killed close to home.

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