Traffic prosecutor wants harsher punishments for traffic violations

Car accident on Rokin in Amsterdam, 27 Dec 2017
Car accident on Rokin in Amsterdam, 27 Dec 2017. (Photo: Politie)

There must be harsher punishments for traffic violations, according to national traffic officer Achilles Damen. People who cause a serious accident must not get away with only a conditional driver's license suspension and community service, he said in an interview with the Telegraaf.

"There must be appropriate sanction on unacceptable driving behavior that costs lives or puts them at risk", Damen said. "In the experience of victims, punishment is often not in proportion with the suffering that was caused. Our demands are often higher, but it is ultimately the judge who determines the sentence. I would like an unconditional driving ban to be imposed more often."

A particular concern for Damen, is the fact that professional drivers are punished less severely, where a harsher sentence is more appropriate for him. The court often allows a professional driver to keep his license, because he will be punished too severely if he is also unable to work. "But as a professional, he has to set a good example."

Damen mentioned the example of a truck driver in Arnhem, who seriously hurt two people when he caused an accident because he was not paying attention to the road for 17 seconds, but reading messages. "Someone who causes an accident must through at least a driving ban feel how important a driver's license is and how careful you must be with it", he said to the newspaper.