Laughing gas use banned in almost all of Utrecht
It will soon be prohibited to use laughing gas in almost the entire city of Utrecht. As of 11 July, the drug may no longer be consumed in the Leidsche Rijn, Vleuten-De Meern, Zuid and Noordoost districts. It was already banned in the Overvecht, Noordwest, West and Zuidoost districts in 2020. It is also no longer allowed to possess laughing gas.
Anyone caught holding or using nitrous oxide can receive a warning or a fine. The districts of Binnenstad and Oost will soon be the only districts left where the use of laughing gas is not banned.
"The signals I receive about the use of laughing gas in the city are very worrying. The use of laughing gas causes serious nuisance on the street and has major consequences for the health of users. Life-threatening situations also arise in traffic if people use laughing gas behind the wheel," explains Utrecht Mayor Sharon Dijksma.
According to the municipality, the nuisance caused by laughing gas is decreasing in areas where the ban applies. In neighborhoods without a ban, the level of nuisance rises. Last year, 208 complaints were received from Leidsche Rijn, Vleuten-De Meern, Zuid and Noordoost, compared to 133 the year before.
The national government has been working on a countrywide ban on laughing gas for several years now. However, that has been delayed. Utrecht is in favor of a national ban on nitrous oxide, but no longer wanted to wait.
Reporting by ANP