Thursday 28 October 2021

Police handed out 850 fines a week for cycling while using a mobile phone

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Police have handed out an average of 850 fines a week in the two years since the introduction of a ban on using a mobile phone without a hands free set while cycling, NU.nl reports

The figure is based on information from the judicial fines collector CJIB requested by the news site.

Mobile phone use while cycling has been a traffic violation since 2019 and currently carries a €100 fine.

Traffic safety research shows cyclists who are using their phones display erratic cycling behaviour, endangering themselves and others.

The figures do not show if the ban has made traffic safer in the last two years because there is no detailed registration of cycle accidents. During the curfew and the lockdown of the last year,  fewer fines were handed out which also influenced the figures.

The weather is also a factor: more cyclists were fined in the summer months than in winter. ‘That is not really a puzzler,’ researcher Agnieszka Stelling said. ‘If it rains you’re less likely to get your phone out.’

Phone use by cyclists is not policed specifically, a police spokesman told the news site. ‘If an officer spots a cyclist using his phone he will stop them and warn or fine them’

Almost two thirds of all road users occasionally read messages on their phones, an infrastructure ministry survey found in September. In 2019 the ministry started a campaign to discourage mobile phone use in traffic.

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