Illegally fast mopeds sold everywhere
Last week consumer watchdog show Kassa sent reporters with hidden cameras to 10 moped shops, and found out that all of them sell mopeds with illegally tuned up engines. Some of the sales people even volunteered to tune up the engines.
The Dutch traffic code defines two different types of mopeds, the bromfietsen which may go as fast as 45 kilometres per hour in built up areas, and the snorfietsen, which can only go 25. Bromfietsen are not considered cool though, because their drivers are obliged to wear helmets and must mix it with the cars.
Besides the maximum speed there is no technical difference between a bromfiets and a snorfiets. The speed is limited by a chip that either the shop attendant or the owners can swap out.
Although moped riders only make up one to two percent of road users, they are responsible for 10 to 20 percent of all accidents in the Netherlands. According to cyclists union Fietsersbond, 2,000 cyclists had to visit the emergency room after a collision with a moped last year. Snorfietsen are allowed to use bike paths, where some of them terrorize cyclists.
Dealer association BOVAG played a nifty game of pass the buck during the show, claiming that if shop keepers do not volunteer to swap out speed limiters, customers will take their business elsewhere. The association feels the ball is in the politicians’ court now.