Texting while walking is just as bad as texting on a bicycle

Our editors share a lot in common: a heightened interest in Android and a great need to race their fingers across keyboards. But, that doesn’t mean they always agree. In AW Discussion Thursday we put each other to the test with a statement every week. Last week we kicked off with foldables and then chargers followed. Today: texting on the bike. Is that really so bad? And what about walkers?

Apps on the bike

Laura: Let’s play the devil’s advocate, but I sometimes think it’s a bit exaggerated that you’re not allowed to look at your phone anywhere when you’re cycling: when you’re walking you can constantly check your phone.

Jelle: Laura Laura Laura, texting while cycling is dangerous! Your smartphone is a distraction, you only have one hand on the wheel, in other words: you are less alert, so the risk of accidents is greater And besides: it is punishable by law

Laura: That’s right and I don’t either. But I do wonder, but if you have such a very long cycle path next to a Provincial road, then you only cycle straight ahead: what will happen to you?

Claudia: FOMO. You can also stop cycling and send your super important texts to your ‘bestie’ while standing still.

Laura: That is possible, but I think that is more dangerous for other cyclists, if someone suddenly stops on the cycle path.

Claudia: Then you stand on the sidewalk for a while.

Laura: There isn’t, because you’re cycling on a bike path

Claudia: Or on the roadside.

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Divide attention

Jelle: We humans are just not very good at distributing attention. By using apps etc. on the bike you can simply see risks less quickly and estimate them much less well. For example, there may be an oncoming vehicle that you just see or sweet animals that are already hungry eating pieces of bread on the road. Unfortunately it was their last meal, because Laura didn’t see them 🙁 Drive Mono! Send your message when you’re done cycling, no big disaster right?

Laura Jenny: Haha, if anyone cares about sweet animals, it’s me. Those animals are not there all at once. You do have to keep an eye out. If you look at your navigation system on your bike while cycling, you don’t pay attention.

Claudia: But then you have your hands on the wheel. And what if a cat suddenly crosses the street? And most people have an e-bike or fat bike and at such speeds your braking distance is already much longer.

Laura: Hitting a cat with a bicycle is pretty clever.

Claudia: You have to dodge the cat and before you know it you’re in the ditch.

Jelle: Exactly, and the fine is 95 euros by the way

Laura: Driving with one hand loose is not forbidden.

Claudia: We don’t always have to be available. Not even when you cycle home or work. Then enjoy not having to respond to messages.

Nice cycling

Jelle: “You are not allowed to hold electronic devices such as smartphones while cycling” Rijksoverheid

Laura: But what if you’re late and want to let someone know anyway? Then I have to stop on a verge, even if I’m riding on a farmer’s cycle path somewhere where no one is?

Claudia: I see so many people doing it. Cycling on a long straight, head down, check your phone.

Laura: If I have to stop at the roadside, I’ll be late.

Jelle: Enjoy cycling, the beautiful nature, the always beautiful weather in the Netherlands(?) and especially look forward to the fact that you will quickly reach your destination safely and sit indoors. Then you are just a little later. Safety first, safety first

Laura: I don’t think the reason Mr. Rijksoverheid has imposed the fines is because people on remote cycle paths where no cars come make a mess.

Jelle: It’s Doctor Professor Rijksoverheid for you!

Claudia: Not only is there the risk of getting hit, there is also the risk of becoming a perpetrator.

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Laura: It’s just weird that there are double standards. Fine if participating in traffic with an electronic device in hand is risky and is therefore fined, but then you also have to do it with people who walk.

Jelle: Pedestrians and drivers are really something else Walking and standing still for a while I don’t really see any danger? (Sometimes annoying when people stop in the middle of a shopping street or something),

Laura: While appending, you can also kick a bird or cause a rear-end collision.

Claudia: Walkers have a different speed than cyclists, e-bikers.

Laura: Yes, but it’s not about speed, is it? It’s all about responsiveness and paying attention, right?

Jelle: Where speed plays a very important role.

Laura: Anticipating traffic situations is easier with a low speed. The chance of a bicycle accident as soon as a smartphone is involved is six times greater.

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Drive MONO

Laura: In busy city traffic, I think texting while walking is more dangerous than cycling on a solo bike path. More situations, so more danger, and no matter how fast or slow you go, anticipating is difficult anyway if you’re not paying attention.

Jelle: Don’t text while cycling, because then you won’t see anything!

Laura: Texting while walking apparently doesn’t kill anyone. J

Jelle: I think the general conclusion is that in heavy traffic, whoever you are and wherever you go, you just have to pay attention.

LauraL Yes, the moral of the story is that you shouldn’t text while cycling, of course, but I think there could be a little more attention for walkers.

Claudia: Exactly. Traffic is getting busier and there are more and more lightning-fast electric bicycles. Drive MONO.

Jelle: And sometimes it might be wiser to keep your smartphone in your pocket.

Laura: From row MONO, to journey MONO, then?

What do you think? Are the rules in the Netherlands correct or are you allowed to be a bit stricter or looser? Leave it now in the comments.

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