/ The Amsterdam Guide
Amsterdam — By Marianne on November 22, 2009 at 8:22 am

Dutch Bike Rules

Amsterdam’s 400 km (250 miles) bike lanes make the city cycle-friendly and safe. Bike lanes or fietspaden are easy to recognise because they are wine-red and run along the right side of the road. They are indicated by a sign of a bike painted on the path or by a traffic sign showing a bike or by the word fietspad.

Wine-red Bike Lanes

Wine-red Bike Lanes

1. Use the fietspad whenever there is one. If there is no fietspad keep to the right and ride with the traffic. Never ride your bike on the pavement.

2. Obey the bike traffic lights which show a red, yellow or green bicycle. Cars and trams have their own lights which may not correspond with the bike lights. When there is no special bike light use the one meant for cars.

fiets groen

3. Bikes are allowed to turn to the right when the traffic lights are red. You will often see: rechtsaf toegestaan, meaning right turn is allowed.

4. Give right of way to traffic approaching you from the right.

5. Traffic from the left must give you right of way, but this rule is not always observed by buses and cars.

6. Trams have always right of way. Cross the tram tracks at a sharp angle otherwise you’ll get stuck, as the rails have the same size as your bike tyre.

fiets rood

7. Use hand signals when turning to the left or right, but the Dutch hardly ever do this.

8. Ring your bell when (tourist) pedestrians amble on the bike lane.

9. Always lock your bike, preferably to a permanent structure such as a lamp post, bridge railings or a bike rack. Use a heavy chain and put it through the frame and front wheel.

11. Obey the sign that says: Hier geen fietsen plaatsen, Don’t place bicycles here. If you ignore this, the police will confiscate your bicycle .

And finally, don’t imitate the Dutch who zigzag through the traffic, give no hand signals and jump the lights.

photo credits: personal collection

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