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Traffic fines are too high: police chief

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Traffic fines are too high and that makes police officers reluctant to write out tickets, the new police commissioner for West-Brabant/Zeeland told broadcasting company Omroep Brabant on Tuesday.

Hans Vissers said in an interview that the Netherlands has gone too far in the level of traffic fines. 'I see colleagues hesitate before giving a fine, or even not fining someone at all, because they think €200 to €300 for a traffic violation is too much,' he said.

According to Visser, officers would rather hand out more small fines than hit drivers with so much money in one go.

Currently fines range from €240 for not leaving enough distance with the car in front to €350 for using the horn unnecessarily.

Two years ago police trade unions said the relationship between violations and fines was too great and Visser said the feeling is the same now.

Justice minister Ivo Opstelten is aware of the situation, the new police chief said. 'If he says the fines have to be this high, then we'll hand them out. But officers are reluctant,' he said.

In a reaction, the justice ministry told Omroep Brabant the amount of the fines is not the business of the police and it has not noticed that fewer fines are being handed out.

Do you agree with the police chief? Use the comment form below.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Fines are so LOW here in the Netherlands, easy to afford to speed. Plus no limit on the number of times one can offend. Try Australia where the minimum fine would leave a severe dent in the monthly income, plus deduct at least 2 points depending on the offence. Once 12 points deducted, license gone. Now THERE'S incentive!

By SIG | 15 January 2013 4:45 PM

I totally agree, SIG. That should be the standard EVERYWHERE. But, I do have sympathy for the police in NL having to give out these fines because regular people treat them like absolute crap - I'd be reluctant to give out those huge fines, too.

By Stupid | 15 January 2013 7:14 PM

Why should police officers have a choice of enforcing a law or not. I'm sick of them ignoring asocial behavior and breaking laws, especially traffic violations.

By M | 15 January 2013 7:37 PM

Indeed the fines are far too high. OK take the licence awary. Person can't go to work, job loss, claims unemployment benefit. That's a good one. Speed controlls are too many and not necessary on a five lane motorway to limit the speed to 100 (A2). Australia is a different continent and we are in Europe. Sorry I disagree with the high fines and the comment by SIG.

By Juergen Boernig | 15 January 2013 9:39 PM

why don't they target the REAL offenders like all those who run red lights? How is blowing a horn even an offence? The police need to focus on what the real problems are (tale gaiting is bad but there are far worse infractions out there--not stopping at a pedestrian crossing being far worse if you ask me. 8 out of 10 drivers do not stop unless you literally through yourself on the road and risk getting hit).

By Michael | 16 January 2013 12:41 AM

I agree with SIG!

By kaccie | 16 January 2013 5:35 AM

I agree that fine is way too high for just horning unnecessary or not keeping enough distance. anyway, 'unnecessary' and 'not enough' is VERY subjective. SImple dislike those in control of judicial system treating ordinary folks as cashcows.

By ufo | 16 January 2013 9:35 AM

I agree with Stupid and kaccle's agreement with SIG.

By Darren | 16 January 2013 9:44 AM

Easiest just to flow with the speed limits. Other than a stop sign infraction by my naughty car several years ago no tickets for many years in any country. The horn is the most important safety equipment on your vehicle and its use strictly illegal within most EU settlements. Use with care.

By Puck | 16 January 2013 1:00 PM

Good on the policeman for speaking up!
Of course it is relevant to the police.
"the justice ministry told Omroep Brabant the amount of the fines is not the business of the police".
Sounds like a fascist who just expects his orders to be OBEYED without thought or question!!

By Simon Bordelen | 16 January 2013 4:20 PM

@Michael: live in Italy for a while and you will see how indiscriminate use of horns make streets so much more unpleasant.

As of pedestrian crossings, those are respected. But you need to start crossing. Some people stay idle on the curbside, give no signal they intend to cross, and then expect cars to stop completely before they decide to cross. That is not how it works.

By A.L. | 17 January 2013 1:05 AM

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