Alarming increase in number of traffic deaths in Netherlands

Paramedics and a police officer at the scene of an incident (Stock photo: Politie)Paramedics and a police officer at the scene of an incident (Stock photo: Politie)

Last year 678 people died in traffic accidents in the Netherlands, 65 more than in 2017. This is the largest increase in the number of traffic deaths since 1989, Statistics Netherlands reports. Noord-Brabant had the biggest increase, from 98 traffic deaths in 2017 to 150 last year.

A total of 233 passenger car occupants - 173 drivers and 60 passengers - died in traffic accidents last year. As did 228 cyclists, 54 pedestrians, 44 people on mobility scooters, 42 motorcycle riders and 38 scooter riders. A third of all victims were killed in a collision with a passenger car or delivery van, nearly 14 percent in a collision with a truck or bus, and 21 percent in a collision with a tree or another obstacle.

Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management called the increase in traffic deaths "bad news, which unfortunately does not come unexpectedly", ANP reports. There will be an analysis on the cause of the increase later this year, "but we see that it is becoming increasingly busy on our roads and bicycle paths", she said. Late last year Van Nieuwenhuizen announced that the government, provinces, municipalities and civil society organizations will work closely together to improve road safety in the coming years.