Dutch traffic safety record severely dented, road deaths are up: report

Photo: Depositphotos.com
Photo: Depositphotos.com

A lack of priority for road safety has made the Netherlands one of three European countries in which traffic deaths have increased since 2010, experts have told RTL Nieuws.

Over a four-year period, the Netherlands has plunged from fourth to 11th place when it comes to road safety, figures from European road safety organisation ETSC show. Countries like Ireland, Germany and Spain now boasting better safety records and relatively fewer deaths.

Road safety has become less of a priority, Peter van der Knaap of traffic safety research institute SWOV told RTL. There are fewer police controls and budget cuts, and 30 kilometre zones are not properly designed so motorists are still driving too fast, he said.

‘This ranking hides a lot of grief. If we had been able to hold on to a higher ranking a lot of deaths would have been prevented,’ he told the broadcaster.

Experts also cite the increase of the maximum speed limit to 130kph.

The SWOV hopes that the cabinet’s new traffic safety plan, which will particularly focus on cyclists and the elderly, will stop the trend, RTL said.

‘If the government really aims for zero deaths, it will have to give priority to road safety. If it really wants to, it can come a long way towards reaching that goal,’ Van der Knaap said.

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