Internetting on your bicycle - should it be allowed? At the moment using a smartphone on the bike is legal in Holland. But should it remain so? Not according to the Dutch Road Safety organisation (VVN). Next month VVN will be launching a campaign against all use of the smartphone in traffic, especially focusing on cyclists.
Internetting on your bicycle - should it be allowed? Photo © Holland-Cycling.com
Cycling with one hand on the handlebars, peering at a smartphone in the other, while trying to keep an eye on the busy traffic and typing a message. Like phoning and listening to music with headphones on, internetting on the bike has become everyday practise. Nevertheless, it’s highly dangerous. “It’s an unacceptable combination,” says Koos Spee of VVN.
There are statistics to prove that internetting in the car causes dozens of accidents a year. But what are the figures for cyclists? Koos Spee:
“We have no idea for cyclists. That’s because of the bad registration. When there’s an accident with a cyclist, often the cause is not registered. If there isn’t a car involved, the police doesn’t even always turn up. Also, many cyclists won't admit they were distracted by their phone.”
More cyclists seriously injured
Since 2000 VVN has seen an increase in the number of cyclists that are seriously injured. Every year around 200 cyclists get killed and 71,000 need medical treatment. Is the smartphone to blame? So far there are no figures to support this. Nevertheless, Koos Spee maintains: “It’s highly dangerous. Do we have to wait until we do have those statistics?”
Source: Het Parool (02-08-2013)