Police roll out new roller test benches

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Netherlands – In recent months, new roller test benches have been delivered to police locations throughout the Netherlands. These test benches can check the speed of mopeds and scooters, but also test whether electric vehicles, such as electric bicycles, speed pedelecs and fat bikes, comply with the applicable legislation.

The 247 new roller test benches are distributed at police locations throughout the Netherlands. They replace the current ones that have been in use for at least 15 years – but often longer.

Accidents

Partly in view of developments in traffic and changes in legislation, it was high time for something new. In recent years, the number of accidents with serious injuries to cyclists has increased sharply. In 2022 there was even a sad record in the books: the highest number of fatal bicycle accidents ever.
These figures more or less keep pace with the rise of the electric bicycle and other electrically powered two-wheelers, such as the fat bike and speed pedelec.

E-bike

The new roller test bench has two settings: mopeds or electric vehicles. Mopeds (scooters) and light mopeds are checked for a maximum speed. With electric vehicles such as electric bicycles, fat bikes or speed pedelecs, the police do not actually check the speed, but assess the moment at which the pedal assistance ceases.
For this purpose, these bicycles are strapped to the roller test bench with tension straps. To prevent them from being damaged, hooks with soft material are used for this. A police officer will then cycle on the e-bike, fat bike or speed pedelec until the pedal assistance stops. The legal limit for electric bicycles and fat bikes is 25 kilometers per hour and for speed pedelecs it is 45 kilometers per hour.

Fat bikes

There has been a lot of activity lately, especially around fat bikes. They are sold as bicycles with pedal assistance, but many fat bikes can travel faster than 25 kilometers per hour. In addition, some units have a motor of more than 250 Watts or a throttle. That is also not allowed. For the law, they are in fact mopeds – just like speed pedelecs. This means that they must have type approval, third party liability insurance and registration. The rider must also have a driver’s license and wear a helmet.
If the driver of an electric bicycle, fat bike or speed pedelec is in violation, the police can give a fine of € 290. In case of multiple violations, the police may also confiscate and destroy the electric bicycle.

Want to know more about the rules?

All rules for e-bikes are clearly explained on the government website.

Information source: Politie.nl

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