Dutch view of cycling law

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
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Of course the Dutch have it right, their success with cycling shows that's the case.

Basically the Dutch see cycling as no different from walking, it's just a way to get from A to B. Just as walking isn't buried in enforced restrictive laws, cycling is the same to any Dutch person. They cycle as they walk, no helmets, lycra or other cycling specific wear, they just get on and ride and their police don't interfere with that any more than they would with pedestrians.

Most of what is seen in this video of Dutch cycling, especially the pillion riding later in the video, would bring instant action from the British police, which I'd deem totally unnecessary. Our loss.
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rower

Pedelecer
Feb 12, 2018
65
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Of course the Dutch have it right, their success with cycling shows that's the case.

Basically the Dutch see cycling as no different from walking, it's just a way to get from A to B. Just as walking isn't buried in enforced restrictive laws, cycling is the same to any Dutch person. They cycle as they walk, no helmets, lycra or other cycling specific wear, they just get on and ride and their police don't interfere with that any more than they would with pedestrians.
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This isn't strictly the case - the Dutch police are very firm on several aspects of cycling, particularly wearing lights. If you don't have lights on at an appropriate time (which is at the descretion of the Dutch plod) you're in for a fine. It may also surprise you to know that bells are mandatory on all Dutch bikes, if you get a Dutch bike it will often be integrated into the handlebars.

Their cops will also nick you for cycling with your hands off the handlebars so no celebrating your TDF win if you think the po po are about!
 

mike killay

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 17, 2011
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Of course the Dutch have it right, their success with cycling shows that's the case.

Basically the Dutch see cycling as no different from walking, it's just a way to get from A to B. Just as walking isn't buried in enforced restrictive laws, cycling is the same to any Dutch person. They cycle as they walk, no helmets, lycra or other cycling specific wear, they just get on and ride and their police don't interfere with that any more than they would with pedestrians.

Most of what is seen in this video of Dutch cycling, especially the pillion riding later in the video, would bring instant action from the British police, which I'd deem totally unnecessary. Our loss.
.
When I think of this country and the legions of busybodies who think that they are entitled to interfere (Helmets etc.) and of course feel a warm glow of 'Do gooderishness'
I despair.
Just where did this idea of nose poking come from, and Why?
 

anotherkiwi

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2015
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This isn't strictly the case - the Dutch police are very firm on several aspects of cycling, particularly wearing lights. If you don't have lights on at an appropriate time (which is at the descretion of the Dutch plod) you're in for a fine. It may also surprise you to know that bells are mandatory on all Dutch bikes, if you get a Dutch bike it will often be integrated into the handlebars.

Their cops will also nick you for cycling with your hands off the handlebars so no celebrating your TDF win if you think the po po are about!
French law is similar a bike has to be sold with a bell and lights. Lights have to be on from legal hour of sunset (when the bottom of the sun touches the horizon) till daybreak. Reflectors on wheels etc. etc.

Bad news: a bell is of no use when someone has the headphones of their phone firmly stuck in their ears as they jog along the cycle path.

Blinky lights are illegal the law states "fixed beam"

Here the cops have a lot more to do than punish bad driving it seems. It makes me laugh to see all the drivers and bikers up in arms over a proposed reduction to 80 km/h on the open road when they don't respect the current 90 km/h...
 

anotherkiwi

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2015
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When I think of this country and the legions of busybodies who think that they are entitled to interfere (Helmets etc.) and of course feel a warm glow of 'Do gooderishness'
I despair.
Just where did this idea of nose poking come from, and Why?
The Normands... :rolleyes:
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
44,717
21,154
This isn't strictly the case - the Dutch police are very firm on several aspects of cycling, particularly wearing lights. If you don't have lights on at an appropriate time (which is at the descretion of the Dutch plod) you're in for a fine. It may also surprise you to know that bells are mandatory on all Dutch bikes, if you get a Dutch bike it will often be integrated into the handlebars.

Their cops will also nick you for cycling with your hands off the handlebars so no celebrating your TDF win if you think the po po are about!
Agreed they can, but I was speaking of the Dutch cyclists attitudes and the fact that their police are mostly not inclined to interfere. Just look at the video I posted and it shows how unconcerned the riders are about any possibility of police action, including riding hands off. As for lights and bells, Dutch bikes are generally sensibly equipped with both from new, unlike so many sold in the UK.

The bells law exists in most places including the UK, but how it's applied varies. In the UK any new bike sold has to be supplied with a bell, but oddly the bell doesn't have to be fitted! Some dealers give or offer a bell with each bike sold, many don't bother.
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oyster

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2017
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The bells law exists in most places including the UK, but how it's applied varies. In the UK any new bike sold has to be supplied with a bell, but oddly the bell doesn't have to be fitted! Some dealers give or offer a bell with each bike sold, many don't bother.
Seen quite a few comments that you can call out just as easily as ring a bell. In some ways, I can understand that - but not for me. Something inside my brain stops me from uttering vocalisations in that sort of situation! I find voice control of computers almost impossible.

The bell that came with my bike was, basically, crap. If you got it just right, it would ring, but mostly it was just a dead tap.

So I have bought myself a reasonable bell that really rings. Not, perhaps, the loudest ever, but in a quiet town, probably adequate. And I feel that I can now alert people effectively.
 

rower

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Feb 12, 2018
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Spent a bit more time than I'm prepared to admit browsing bells online in the slow part of the afternoon...
 

oyster

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Nov 7, 2017
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Spent a bit more time than I'm prepared to admit browsing bells online in the slow part of the afternoon...
Me too!

Eventually, went for
Crane Bell Mini Suzu Brass Bicycle Bell with Steel Band Mount - Gold

Sounds OK. Too many bells were silly prices - this, at just over £10, wasn't what I would call cheap, but much better than the £25 and upwards which seem so widespread. Wasn't keen on gold, but it's acceptable. Black was either unavailable or more expensive.

It has a sound which will be widely recognised as being a bicycle bell - the single sound rather than ding-ding - which is what I think we need.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
44,717
21,154
Seen quite a few comments that you can call out just as easily as ring a bell. In some ways, I can understand that - but not for me.
I use bells and have tried horns, but on shared use paths when approaching someone from behind, I usually just cycle slowly and say a cheerful "Good Morning/Afternoon".

If they have to step aside to let me pass I add "Sorry to inconvenience you" with a smile. That usually gets a very good reception.

I think it's important to be an ambassador for cycling to offset the large amount of ill-will towards cyclists that exists in Britain. Leaving a good impression helps do that.
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oyster

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2017
4,540
6,795
West West Wales
I use bells and have tried horns, but on shared use paths when approaching someone from behind, I usually just cycle slowly and say a cheerful "Good Morning/Afternoon".

If they have to step aside to let me pass I add "Sorry to inconvenience you" with a smile. That usually gets a very good reception.

I think it's important to be an ambassador for cycling to offset the large amount of ill-will towards cyclists that exists in Britain. Leaving a good impression helps do that.
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Actually, although only cycling again for a few weeks, I haven't yet had an issue on shared use paths. Almost every time I have needed to alert, it has been someone crossing (or about to cross) the road without looking, opening a car-door across me, letting a dog on a long lead run out - but always when I have been on a real road.

I have indeed had to interact with walkers, pram pushers, dog walkers, other cyclists, and so on, on shared use paths, but not yet had any problem whatsoever. They have been friendly and considerate, and I'd like to think I have been as well.

I'd also like to add that by far the majority of drivers have also behaved as I would have hoped. Can only think of one who was a complete idiot - seemed to expect me to get out of his way on a very short, very narrow, one-way road with me wanting to turn right on a blind corner. There was nowhere for me to get out of his way. I couldn't safely ride any faster. And the road was snowy/frosty so not conducive to anything but cautious riding.
 
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rower

Pedelecer
Feb 12, 2018
65
27
34
Berks and Bucks
I use bells and have tried horns, but on shared use paths when approaching someone from behind, I usually just cycle slowly and say a cheerful "Good Morning/Afternoon".

If they have to step aside to let me pass I add "Sorry to inconvenience you" with a smile. That usually gets a very good reception.

I think it's important to be an ambassador for cycling to offset the large amount of ill-will towards cyclists that exists in Britain. Leaving a good impression helps do that.
.
For me I use the bell quite a bit in towns - in the same way you'd use your car horn on a blind corner, to let people know you're there. Anyway think I'm going to wait until next payday before I pull the trigger on a new bell.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
44,717
21,154
For me I use the bell quite a bit in towns -
One lady who I'd warned of my approach on a shared path said with a smile as I passed slowly, "Thank you for using your bell".

Shows it can really be appreciated.
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