The Netherlands sees significant increase in fatal traffic accidents
According to provisional figures seen by De Telegraaf, the Netherlands recorded 578 fatal traffic accidents in 2022, marking a significant increase in the number of road fatalities compared to the pre-lockdown years of 2018 and 2019.
De Telegraaf: 578 road fatalities in the Netherlands last year
De Telegraaf reports that data collected through Smart Traffic Accident Recording (STAR) by the Dutch government Royal Dutch Touring Club (ANWB) and the police reveals there were 578 traffic accidents in 2022 which resulted in at least one death. According to STAR data from previous years, 491 road fatalities occurred in 2021, and 496 in 2020. Before the coronavirus pandemic, these figures were slightly higher: 522 in 2019 and 543 in 2018.
The figure for 2022 could still rise in January, as STAR defines a fatality as a death that took place at the scene of the crash, or within 30 days of the incident as a result of injuries caused by an accident.
The number of traffic accidents that resulted in at least one injury also increased in 2022, by over 3.500 to a total of 21.457. Accidents which resulted in just material damage increased by 10.028 to a total of 75.025.
Police call on authorities to improve safety of Dutch roads
“There are of course more traffic accidents this year compared to the coronavirus years 2020 and 2021. Then there were fewer accidents because there was less traffic on the road,” Paul Broer, traffic enforcer for the Dutch police, said in an interview with ANP. “But there are also more road casualties compared to 2019. That is a worrying trend.”
Speeding, motorists using their mobile phones while driving, and being under the influence of drugs or alcohol while behind the wheel remain the most common causes of accidents on Dutch roads, although in 2022 the police also noted a significant increase in the number of incidents involving electric bicycles.
This data is especially alarming, as current government policy aims to halve the number of road fatalities by 2030, while the EU hopes to bring the total number of traffic deaths down to zero by 2050. Broer has called on the government and municipalities to do more to ensure roads are safe, such as increasing lighting on local roads and improving the design of cycle lanes.