Multiple reports of runaway Stints after fatal rail accident

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

The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate received multiple reports about Stint cargo bikes that would not brake, some even after a Stint was involved in a fatal accident in Oss, according to documents Minister Cora Van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management sent to parliament on Thursday evening, AD reports.

In a report dated September 29th, an inspector speaks of a Stint being confiscated because it wouldn't stop. That is nine days after four children were killed in a collision between a Stint and a train at a rail crossing on Braakstraat in Oss. 

The inspectorate received photos and videos from another childcare institution, located in Midden-Nederland, showing a Stint continuing to run when the throttle is released. This incident was reported to the police, though when is not clear. 

According to the documents, the childcare institution from Midden-Nederland has seven Stints, two of which have "regular breaking and stopping problems". The problems persisted even after inspections and repairs and the two Stints were eventually taken out of service and a replacement was sent. But the replacement also had issues. "Then on September 27th it was established that a replacement Stint did not slow down when the gas was released", the inspector wrote. That is a week after the fatal accident in Oss.

A noteworthy point in the documents, is that the childcare institution wants to withdraw its declaration because the reporter has the impression that her report will lead to Stints being taken off the road, according to the newspaper. The inspector thinks that she may have been contacted with the manufacturer of the Stints, Stint Urban Mobility.

Shortly after these reports, Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management banned Stint electric cargo bikes from the road. At that time around 3,500 of these bikes were in use.

Immediately after the ban, Stint Urban Mobility said that it was unjustified. The manufacturer does not want to recall the vehicles. There were reports that the company was going to sue the Minister over the ban, but Stint Urban Mobility later said that it would try to fight the ban in dialogue. The company even offered the owner of one daycare a new Stint, if she'd agree to withdraw a lawsuit she filed against the Ministry, because the company worried that this would hinder the discussions. 

Stint was admitted to public roads in 2011. According to AD, this was despite negative advice from two road safety organizations. The RDW concluded that because of its width, the Stint could be a danger on the road. And the foundation for scientific research in traffic safety SWOV advised that children should not be transported in the vehicle by anyone who did not undergo driver training.