The police will no longer set up systematic traffic controls to catch cyclists without lights or motorists who hold their mobile phones while driving, Trouw reports on Friday.
The change in approach stems from police-commissioned research which shows there is no evidence cycling with lights or hands-free phoning is safer, the paper says.
The paper says the public prosecution department has accepted recommendations from the road safety research council SWOV which analysed the performance and success rates of the special police checks. The research is due to be formally presented on Friday.
Each of the country’s 26 police forces has a special traffic control team which are responsible for nearly all the traffic fines. They will now focus on speeding and drink drivers, the paper says.
Nevertheless, cyclists and motorists should not think they can get away scot free, the paper points out. Police officers who come across cyclists without lights or motorists using their phones still face fines – only the systematic traffic controls are being abandoned.
The newspaper publication caused a flurry of activity at the justice ministry later in the day. The public prosecution department later issued a statement following intervention by justice minister Ivo Opstelten, who told reporters he disagreed with the revised priorities.
In the statement, the department said: ‘The public prosecution department is not changing anything in the way it maintains road safety. The SWOV report confirms that the police are focused on the right issues.’