#1: It’s illegal not to have lights and a bell on your bike, but not to wear a helmet
In a lot of countries, this is the other way around. This is mainly due to safety issues and of course if you’re out with a small child too, they usually have to wear some form of protection. Not in the Netherlands. As long as you have lights for visibility and bell to attract attention, you’re good to go. Safe or just stupid? The debate continues on whether we should all wear helmets. I guess we do have great bike lanes, which definitely makes it a heck of a lot safer.
#2: Bikes have right of way, they rule over cars and pedestrians
So say you were strolling along a bike path and a bike hits you. They are not necessarily liable, as they have right of way, even if it wasn’t your fault. The same goes for a car hitting a bike – that’s a big no, no too. Please people just watch out for bikes and cars watch out for them too. They rule us all ?
#3: Fireworks are illegal apart from 3 days before NYE
It is illegal to purchase fireworks for intention to use, unless it is 3 days before NYE. Even then, they cannot be set off until NYE. Any time after that is also illegal. That means that New Years Eve itself, is wild as hell. Again, another one that causes a debate every year. Shall we allow them every day or should we ban them completely? Put it this way, where I’m from we can have fireworks all year round and our firework problem is the fraction of what it is in the Netherlands. Solution? Probably shouldn’t risk it.
#4: Mandatory emergency drills need to be tested every month
You may have all heard that weird and loud sound going off on the first Monday of every month. The Dutch government requires that these emergency drills are mandatory and are tested at least once a month. A law that means we are going to have to listen to them every first Monday of the month FOREVER (well until the law changes, that is).
#5: You cannot marry legally in the Netherlands unless one of you is Dutch
This law is true, but only if neither of you has residency. So for instance, you can’t come here from abroad to marry, like other people do at beach resorts across the world. So if you’re wanting to get hitched on the canals of Amsterdam and neither of you are registered here, forget it.