Under-reporting of road accidents hinders safety improvements
Tuesday 12 June 2012
Transport authority Rijkswaterstaat is not giving correct figures on the number of people killed or injured in road accidents, traffic advice agency Via.nl said on Tuesday.
This is bad for traffic safety because it is not possible to see which roads are dangerous and need safety improvements, the Nos website reports Via.nl as saying.
The situation on the roads is based on police reports which are collated by the transport authority. But the police do not report every accident, says the agency. It says that in 2003 95% of road deaths were registered, while in 2011 the figure was 80%. Figures for serious injuries were also under-reported.
According to Via.nl, the reason for the drop in reporting is new rules. The aim now is to prosecute the people who cause accidents and not to collect statistics. Police computer systems also make it difficult to register accidents.
Local and provincial councils base their traffic policies on the figures they receive from the traffic authority and these need to be accurate so they know which roads need safety updates.
Justice minister Ivo Opstelten is aware of the problem, says the Nos. From 2013, the police will return to working with accident forms which they will send to the traffic authority.
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