Justice Minister wants harsher punishments for serious traffic violations

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Dutch police officer doing a traffic check (Stock Photo: Politie). (Dutch police officer doing a traffic check (Stock Photo: Politie))

Minister Stef Blok of Security and Justice is working on new legislation that will make harsher punishments possible for people guilty of serious traffic violators, like driving under the influence or without a license, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident, RTL Nieuws reports.

The new law is in response to a study by the University of Groningen into punishments for traffic crimes. The researchers concluded that penalties are generally adequate, but that the punishments for serious traffic crimes like hit-and-runs are often too low. For example, the current maximum punishment for reckless driving without serious injury or damage is two months in prison. According to the researchers, this is too low for the consequences of such behavior.

Blok's new law will increase these punishments, though how high they will be is not yet clear. It also gives the police more investigation powers when dealing with hit-and-run accidents in which someone was injured or killed. And reckless driving will be considered punishable in more circumstances, Blok said, according to the broadcaster. 

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