Stint sues Minster over ban from public roads: report

One version of a Stint cargo vehicle made to carry multiple children. 12 April 2018.. (Tulp8 / Wikimedia Commons)

Stint is taking Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management and the Inspectorate for Human Environment and Transport to court for their decision to ban Stint cargo bikes from public roads following a railway accident in Oss in which four children were killed, sources told RTL Nieuws.

According to Stint, the far-reaching ban announced on Monday is unfounded. The company already informed the Ministry and the Inspectorate that it is applying for a "provisional order", summary proceedings, to challenge the ban. The case is expected to appear next week, according tt he broadcaster.

Edwin Renzen, director of Stint Urban Mobility, already said on Tuesday that he disagrees with the Inspectorate's analysis. The inspectorate concluded that problems can arise in Stint bikes due to power outage, and problems with the throttle and with the handbrake. This could result in the Stints stopping suddenly, or being unable to brake. 

But according to Stint, the Inspectorate's research was inadequate, and some tests were not done thoroughly or at all. Stint also doubts whether the Minister knew all the facts, including the company's refutations of the accusations, when she made the decision to ban Stints off the road.

According to RTL, it is unclear whether Stint has received all the underlying information the Ministry and Inspectorate used to substantiate the ban. So far documents like the Inspectorate investigation and tests by the Netherlands Forensic Institute have not been made public. An investigation by a company that uses Stints for freight transport and experienced similar problems, also hasn't been released.

A recent incident in Amsterdam was also included in the Inspectorate's investigation, according to the broadcaster. The official report on that incident has not yet been released either. In the incident a Stint was unable to brake, and only came to a standstill after the driver removed the key from the ignition, RTL reports.

The Amsterdam police told the broadcaster that they do not know about the incident and referred to the Inspectorate. The Inspectorate said an incident was reported on Saturday, and referred to the Oost-Brabant police, who is investigating the accident in Oss. The Oost-Brabant police referred RTL back to the Inspectorate, saying that they can not respond to incidents with Stints because they do not register incidents separately for the vehicle.