Stints may eventually return to Dutch roads, Minister says

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

Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Managements considers it possible that "some form of the Stint" electric cargo bikes will eventually be allowed to ride on Dutch roads again. "But the doubts about safety must be removed", she said during a parliamentary debate on the matter on Tuesday, reports.

The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate launched an investigation into the Stints after one such vehicle was involved in a fatal accident in Oss in September. A childminder was taking five kids to primary school on a Stint when they were hit by a train on a railway crossing on Braakstraat. Four children were killed. The fifth child and childminder were seriously injured.

On October 1st the Minster banned Stints from a public roads after the initial results of the Inspectorate's investigation revealed that technical issues may cause the Stint to stop suddenly, or be unable to brake. The Inspectorate also found that the manufacturer made changes to the vehicle without the Ministry being aware of it.

Research institute TNO is also doing a more extensive investigation into the vehicle. The results are expected at the end of this year. Based on this investigation, Van Nieuwenhuizen will decide whether or not to ban Stints from the road permanently. "If investigation shows that it can be safe, we will have a different conversation. The doubts must be removed", the Minister said, according to the newspaper.

On November 15th Van Nieuwenhuizen will meet with childcare institutions that had to arrange alternative transport after the Stint ban. According to childcare institutions, the Stint ban resulted in money problems and safety problems in the transportation of children. A number of municipalities and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment share these concerns. 

Stint Urban Mobility, the manufacturer of the electric cargo bikes, recently filed for bankruptcy due to the vehicles' ban from the roads. On Tuesday the company withdrew its bankruptcy application. "I could not foresee that there would be an appeal and that parliament will consider it again and that organizations like Boink would support us", owner Edwin Renzen said to RTV Utrecht. Countless Stints are currently in storage, but if they can be used again that would mean a lot of money for the company in one go. "It does not have to be over yet."