Keep the phone in your pocket: Campaign launched before bikers fined for texting
On Friday Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure is launching a large-scale campaign to make everyone aware that texting while cycling is illegal in the Netherlands from Monday. The campaign, with the slogan 'Keep your phone in your pocket' is aimed largely young people as they are most likely to use their smartphone while on bike.
On average, 49 percent of Dutch use their smartphones while on their bicycles. Among Dutch between the ages of 18 and 24, three quarters said they use their phone while cycling, according to a study by Deloitte in November last year, AD reports. Last year 288 cyclists were killed in traffic accidents and an estimated 13 thousand were seriously injured. How many of these accidents were caused by distraction is unknown. But the expectation is that this number increased in recent years due to the rising popularity of smartphones.
"I actually expect that this ban will save many traffic victims", Van Nieuwenhuizen said to AD. "Research shows that you have a such greater chance of having an accident if you are cycling while texting or doing something else on your cell phone. So make sure you keep your attention only on cycling and traffic!"
On Friday the Minister is visiting a primary school to talk about traffic safety. Posters warning against texting on the bike will also be placed at schools, government institutions and in bus shelters. "It will certainly take some getting used to", Van Nieuwenhuizen said. "That is why we are starting a major campaign today."
‘Laat je telefoon lekker zitten en hou 95 euro in je zak’. Voor alle verkeersdeelnemers is belangrijk dat ze hun aandacht en ogen op de weg houden, ook voor fietsers. Daarom start vanaf vandaag een nieuwe campagne om hen hiervan bewust te maken - https://t.co/E84wMXiVYW #MONO pic.twitter.com/TXoEqibEfv— Ministerie IenW (@MinIenW) June 28, 2019