Dutch traffic rules

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When arriving in Holland, it is good to know the basic traffic rules.

The bicycle is the cheapest and easiest way to get around, especially if you live in a city. There are special cycling lanes on almost every road and other road users are used to cyclists.  

  • The basic rules

    Always attach your bike to a tree or other solid object with a decent lock. Make sure your bicycle lights and reflectors are working (if not, you risk a fine) and obey the traffic rules (€ 50 fine or more). You are not allowed to ride your bike in certain areas, especially in the city centre.

  • General traffic rules for cyclists

    Dutch road rules are consistent with those in most European countries. These are the most important general traffic rules in the Netherlands.

    • Drive on the right, overtake on the left
    • Unless stated otherwise, give priority to traffic approaching from the right
    • As a rule, cars turning across your path are supposed to stop for you, but be careful just in case
    • Motorcycle drivers and passengers must wear crash helmets
    • Cyclists may ride two abreast
    • Pedestrians use pavements or footpaths; cyclists keep to cycle tracks. Cycling through pedestrian areas can result in a fine
    • Stop for pedestrians on pedestrian crossings
    • Signal with your arm when turning
    • Your bicycle must have a working head- and taillights as well as reflectors (you risk a fine)
    • While cycling it is not allowed to hold electrical devices, like a mobile phone. It can result in a fine.
Traffic in the Netherlands

Verkeerswijzer Groningen published a brochure intended for those who have recently arrived in the Netherlands to inform them about the traffic in our the Netherlands. You will be informed how to safely take part in traffic by foot or bike. In this brochure, the most important rules will be explained. The commentary is written in Arabic, English, French and Tigrinya.