May 27, 2016 11:07 am

Distracted cycling: Dutch looking at banning use of cellphones on bikes

A woman on a bicycle using her cellphone as she rides past a city map in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

(AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – The Dutch government is considering banning the country’s millions of cyclists from using their cellphones while riding, saying pedaling and phones are a dangerous mix.

Youngsters cycling while using their phones is a common sight in this country of 17 million where, according to the cyclists’ union, there are more than 18 million bikes.

Transport Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen told Dutch broadcaster NOS on Thursday she is looking into the ban after calls to youngsters to leave their phones in their pockets while cycling failed to have much of an effect.

She says, “a ban is a clear signal” to youths who are the main culprits. The Dutch government said in 2014 that smartphones “played a role” in one in five bike accidents involving young cyclists.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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