MPs have approved changes to the law which will allow electric wagons known as ‘Stints’ back onto the Dutch roads in time for the next school year.
The Stints, which were used by hundreds of daycare centres to ferry children around, have been banned since a fatal crash last year in which four children died.
The new rules include tougher safety specifications and technical requirements and the company which makes the Stint has said it will upgrade all 3,000 vehicles. The wagons will also be allowed to carry 10 rather than eight children, after MPs urged transport minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen to rethink her plans for fewer seats.
Last September a wagon ploughed into a train at a level crossing after the brake apparently failed, killing four children. However, the cause of the accident has not yet been determined.
Last December, research institute TNO said the wagons can only be allowed back into traffic after modifications have been carried out. In particular, there are problems with the braking system, the report said.
Stints made their debuts on the Dutch roads in 2011 via legislation covering ‘special scooters’ – a new category of road transport introduced to cover Segways.
MPs and ministers were keen to encourage new forms of transport and did not introduce extra safety measures so as not to dent innovation.
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