The number of people killed and seriously injured in traffic accidents last year rose by around 20% compared with 2021, and the increase was particularly notable on roads with a 30 kph speed limit, according to road safety institute SWOV.
So far this year, 745 people have been killed on the roads, which is a 21% rise on 2022. A further 8,300 people were seriously injured, the large majority of whom were cyclists. Most of them were over the age of 60.
Cyclists accounted for 39% of the road deaths and 70% of the seriously injured. Although cyclists were most likely to be killed in a collision with a car, most of the injuries were down to falls, collisions between bikes and accidents that did not involve any other vehicle.
In 2022, 58% of cyclists who died on the roads were aged 60 or older.
Around 100 people were killed on roads where the maximum speed limit was 30 kph and that is a rise of 86% on the period between 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic struck, and 2021.
However, the trend of reducing maximum speed limits from 50 kph to 30 kph, as has just happened in Amsterdam, does not explain the high number of deaths, a spokesman for SWOV told broadcaster NOS.
Preliminary figures for 2023 indicate that the number of traffic deaths fell between January and August and the number of registered injuries appears to be stable. But these figures don’t say anything about the seriousness of the injuries, SWOV pointed out.
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