Amsterdam considering license plate requirement, minimum age for fatbikes
Amsterdam is considering measures against fatbikes, traffic alderman Melanie van der Horst said in a letter to the city council. The city is considering more checks for quicker, upgraded fatbikes, a license plate requirement, and setting a minimum age requirement for those using the fast electric bikes, Parool reports.
In her letter to the city council, Van der Horst listed her concerns about fatbikes. The thick-wheeled electric bikes are often enhanced to go faster, users do not typically wear helmets, and drivers are uninsured. The speed differences on cycle paths also result in an increasing feeling of insecurity, she said.
Fatbikes currently fall under the electric bicycles category, according to Parool. The government wants to move it to the scooter or moped category, which comes with requirements for a driver’s license, license plate, helmet, minimum age, and third-party liability insurance. The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate already considers the vehicle a scooter.
Amsterdam, along with Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, asked Infrastructure Minister Mark Harbers to check whether fatbikes could be moved from bicycle paths to the road. The 30 km/h speed limit that will soon apply in Amsterdam makes this a realistic option, Van der Horst said. The alderman is also considering a maximum speed on the bike paths for electric bicycles.
The city is also looking at increasing enforcement. Last week, the police checked over 50 fatbikes at various places in the city and found that a third had an illegal throttle. However, one drawback is that this puts extra pressure on the already limited police capacity.
Utrecht is testing how it can give other enforcement officers the power to enforce minor traffic violations. Amsterdam is also looking at this option, Van der Horst said.