The number of people seriously injured in traffic accidents rose again in 2014, continuing the increase seen in most years since 2007.
Figures from the transport ministry show that 20,700 people were hospitalised following traffic accidents in 2014, compared with 18,800 in the year earlier period.
The rise is largely due to accidents involving bikes, stemming from the increased popularity of electric bikes and the use of smartphones by cyclists, road safety organisation VVN said.
‘We do not want people to think cycling is dangerous – we want to get as many people as possible on their bikes,’ the organisation said. ‘However, improvements appear to be needed in 30 and 50 kph zones where most accidents happen, and there should be a greater focus on the needs of bikes and e-bikes,’ director Felix Cohen said.
Only the years 2012 and 2013 showed a slight decrease in the number of serious injuries, for which the ministry has no explanation. The ministry is collecting more data about traffic accidents in order to improve the situation.
Transport minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen had aimed to reach a maximum of 10,600 series injuries on the roads by 2020, but she said in June that this target will not be achieved.
The ministry does expect the number of deaths on the roads to continue to fall, from a maximum of 510 in 2020 to 470 in 2030.
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