Traffic fines for cycling in Rotterdam - how to avoid them!

Woman riding her bike while on the phoneWoman riding her bike while on the phone
Riding your bike will get you from point A to point B for free. But did you know you can be fined up to €150 if you break the rules? We made a list of traffic fines for cyclists. Check them out and stay safe!

As a student mentor, I once told a Polish exchange student that it was perfectly fine to ride her bike home while drunk. After all, most of the students that go out partying, hop on their bicycles and go home. There's nothing too special about that, right? Well, after the weekend, she came to me and complained. "You said it was fine to ride a bicycle while drunk" she said. I was surprised, so I asked her why she was complaining. Her answer? "My friend hit a car, and there were cops nearby, and ...". I had heard enough. I guess I had underestimated what "drunk" really meant.  Ever since, I tell people "it's fine to cycle while drunk, but just don't hit any cars." 

Truth be told, there are many rules for riding a bicycle in the Netherlands. Many are never enforced unless necessary. If you're caught putting a dent in somebody's car, there are likely to be consequences, whether you're drunk or not. Still, other rules may be less obvious.

Traffic fines for cyclists in Rotterdam

We've compiled a list of bad cycling habits that could get you fined. These fines generally range from €35 to €150 and can be increased if your cycling is deemed a danger to others. The amounts listed below are without €9,- administration costs.

👮‍♀️
• Overtaking just before or on a zebra crossing => €150
• Cycling under the influence of alcohol => €100 (235 Ugl / 0.54 permillage)
• Refusing to cooperate with alcohol check => €95
• Handling your phone while cycling => €95👮‍♀️
• Ignoring a red stoplight => €95
• Cycling at night without lights on your bicycle => €55
• Cycling in the wrong direction => €55
• Cycling without reflectors on pedals/wheels/rear => €35
• Making a turn without raising your arm => €35
• Bicycle bell not working? => €35
• Parking your bicycle in a no-parking area => €35


These are the more 'popular' offences, but the complete list of bycicle fines is quite extensive.

Don't text and bike!

The latest law to come into effect partially bans the use of phones. That's right. Cycling about with your phone in hand, while texting, calling or tapping through your phone is no longer allowed in Rotterdam. As of July 1st 2019, anybody caught cycling while using a telephone will be fined €95.

The best way to avoid the fine is to use a holder and avoid handling the phone while cycling. In other words, place that phone call before you start pedalling and avoid touching the phone once you're underway.

Voice assistants and smartwatches
If you really have to use your phone, you could try using your voice assistant. Google Assistant, Siri, Bixby all respond to voice commands. Alternatively, a smartwatch will allow you to read snippets of your messages. If it's important enough to read it fully right away, just step off and hop back on when you're ready to continue your journey.

 

p.s. Is the information in this article incorrect or outdated? Please let us know.
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