As Dutch roads get ever more crowded, the number of lorry accidents and breakdowns has hit a peak, according to new figures from freight incident management organisation STIMVA.
The organisation, which unites insurance companies and the Dutch transport authority, reports that the total number of lorry incidents rose by 22% from 2016 levels to 5,762 last year. The vast majority of these (72%) involved stranded vehicles, and the total was the highest since records started in 2000.
‘Since 2014, we are seeing that traffic jams in the Netherlands are more frequent and last longer,’ the report says. ‘We expect that by 2020 we will spend 45% longer in them than in 2014’
Almost a quarter of the total waiting time, it notes, is caused by accidents with lorries and personal vehicles, and freight vehicle delays tend to be longer.
The Dutch transport authority has a plan to deal with delays, it notes, by responding quicker and deploying 40 more road inspectors in the coming three years.
The figures also note that 58% of the lorry drivers involved in incidents come from the Netherlands, followed by Poles (9%), Germans and Romanians (both 5%).
Diederik Fleuren, a spokesman for Rijkswaterstaat, said: ‘We don’t know whether or not foreign drivers are overrepresented in the incident figures but the largest proportion of incidents involves the Dutch.
‘When roads are busier, the chance of an accident is greater, and almost all of them occur in the morning and evening rush hours. The economy is doing well and we all want our [shopping] orders to arrive as soon as possible – that is one of the causes. We have to deal with this.’
A spokesman for the TLN transport lobby group reportedly told the AD that it believed that foreign drivers were ‘overrepresented’ in the figures, despite the fact that the majority of vehicles in incidents were Dutch. He called for an investigation into the rising numbers of crashes and incidents.
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