Cycling safety

Tips for using your bicycle safely.

When cycling in the dark or during times of poor visibility (including at dusk), bicycles must have their front and back lights on. The key is to be clearly seen by other road users.

The bicycle lights can be affixed to the bicycle or worn on the cyclist's chest or back. The front light should be white or yellow and the back light should be red. They may not be flashing or blinding. The bicycle should also be fitted with a reflectors. From time to time the police will set up road checks and will hand out a fine if your bike is not in order.

Photo by Gerard Stolk
Photo by Gerard Stolk

Wearing a helmet is not compulsory, but recommended.


When cycling in The Hague, watch out for the trams and tram tracks! Trams have priority and you do not want to get your bicycle wheel stuck in the tracks. Always approach the tram tracks at a wide angle and be aware they may be slippery. Even cyclists who have lived here all their lives slip occasionally.

Reporting poor conditions

Have you come across a dangerous cycling situation in The Hague, for example, poor surfaces or a dangerous intersection? Report unsafe situations to the municipality. The Fietsersbond (Cyclists’ Union) and the municipality will then see what they can do about it.

Cell phone

In the Netherlands it is not permitted to hold your telephone while cycling. Holding other electronic devices is also prohibited, such as tablets, music players and cameras. You are allowed to listen to music, check your route while cycling if you have a phone holder on your bike, and call hands free.

Bakfiets in The Hague (Photo by FaceMePLS)
Bakfiets in The Hague (Photo by FaceMePLS)

Transporting a child

You may transport a child under the age of 8 years only in a safe seat with sufficient support on the back of the bike. This does not mean that a person older than 8 years may be taken unsafely on your bike. Dutch traffic laws state that you are not allowed to create dangerous traffic situations or bring your passengers into danger. 

Also see

Published: 5 April 2016Modified: 18 July 2019