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Netherlands: Driving the Moped into Extinction?

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands – (January 9th ) The Dutch traffic minister has proposed to raise the age for moped starters to 17. Now it is 16, like in most European countries. The reasoning is, that the younger the moped rider, the higher the risks in traffic. Last year, 40 moped riders under 18 died in […]

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – (January 9th ) The Dutch traffic minister has proposed to raise the age for moped starters to 17. Now it is 16, like in most European countries. The reasoning is, that the younger the moped rider, the higher the risks in traffic. Last year, 40 moped riders under 18 died in Dutch traffic (on a total of 1067 casualties of all ages and all kinds of road traffic participation). Pushing the moped age up and pulling the car driver age down by permitting 17-year-olds to take driving lessons, the minister hopes that more young people will skip the dangerous moped altogether, and jump from the pushbike into the car.
Dutch traffic safety promotion institute 3VO says it welcomes the idea but would have preferred the moped age upped to 18. What the real drive of the minister is, isn’t clear – obviously, age-related traffic behaviour doesn’t change when swapping the moped for a car or a motor bike. For ages, it has been thought in Europe that it made sense to get young people gradually accustomed to traffic participation: bike, e-bike, single-speed moped, geared moped, limited-capacity motorbike at 18, car at 18, powerbike. It would have been more in the line seen elsewhere in Europe to have proposed a lower age for moped use with a tighter speed restriction on the baby moped. The Dutch parliament will still have to pass the bill.(OB)

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