The Dutch safety board OVV said on Wednesday that there was still not enough focus on the safety of light motorised vehicles such as mobility scooters, electric scooters and electric cargo bikes which have been able to use the roads without proper clearance.
The board made the comments in a report about the deadly incident last year involving a ‘Stint’, a motorised wagon used to ferry children around, particularly by daycare centres. Four children died when one of the vehicles failed to stop at a level crossing and ploughed into a train.
The OVV said it did not want ministers or MPs to be able to decide to let the Stint back on the roads. Instead, this should be up to the independent testing agency RDW, the board said.
A new improved version of the Stint is currently undergoing testing but MPs said in the spring that they agreed with the adaptations being made. This is a question of political pressure coming before safety, the OVV said in its report.
The organisation is recommending that transport minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen carry out an integrated risk assessment of the way older vehicles had been admitted onto the roads and if necessary introduce additional measures. She should also revise the way new vehicles are cleared for road use, the OVV said.
Van Nieuwenhuizen said in a reaction that she agreed politics should be kept out of the decision-making process and that safety should be central. She also said she agreed that an independent institution should make the final decision.
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