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Dutch police hand out 850 fines per week to cyclists using mobile phones

In the UK there is currently no specific offence related to using a phone while cycling

Dutch police have handed out an average of 850 fines a week since a ban on using mobile phones while cycling came into force two years ago.  

Using a phone, without hands free, while cycling has been a traffic violation since 2019 across the Netherlands and people caught breaking the rules face a €100 fine.

Dutch News reports that it is not yet clear whether the ban was having an impact on cycling safety due to a lack of collision data. 

A police spokesperson told the website that while phone use by cyclists was not something officers proactively targeted, ‘If [we] spot a cyclist using his phone [we] will stop them and warn or fine them’.

Earlier this year a cyclist in Queensland, Australia was fined A$1,000 (£548) for talking on her mobile phone while riding. 

> Cyclist in Australia fined A$1,000 for talking on her phone

In the UK, where motorists are banned from using a handheld mobile phone as a communication device, punishable by a £200 fine and six penalty points, there is no specific offence relating to using a mobile phone while cycling.

However, doing so could result in police fining the cyclist for careless cycling, which carries a maximum penalty of a £1,000, and occasionally we do get reports of police targeting riders who are using phones.

> Police in West London fine cyclists for using mobiles – but say no resources to target drivers using handheld phones at wheel

Rule 70 of the Highway Code says that cyclists 'must not ride in a dangerous, careless or inconsiderate manner.'

> Driver steals cyclist’s phone after knocking her from bike – police attending say they shouldn’t have been called

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chrisonabike | 2 years ago

Wait - are they saying hands-free is fine?

AlsoSomniloquism replied to chrisonabike | 2 years ago

Yes, just using it whilst it is in your hands, either for phoning or increasingly in the UK as well, for texting / whats-apping.

HoarseMann | 2 years ago

Cycle paths in NL can be so busy I can see why they've had to introduce this law.

I'd go further and ban people walking whilst staring at their phones. Seems to be more of a problem, I've had people nearly bump into me doing that numerous times. Plus, much better for your mental health getting a break from the screen!

Flintshire Boy replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
1 like

Couldn't agree more. But things 'have been improved', you see.

Hence they are much worse than previously!!

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