Public works dept. concerned about increasingly aggressive road users

A Rijkswaterstaat vehicle at the scene of an accident
A Rijkswaterstaat vehicle at the scene of an accident. (Photo: cakifoto/DepositPhotos)

The general director of Dutch public works department Rijkswaterstaat is very concerned about the increasing aggression road users are showing road inspectors. Three-quarters of road inspectors are confronted with verbal abuse or rude hand gestures almost every day, and so far this year there's been 11 reports of physical violence against road inspectors, general director Michele Blom said to De Telegraaf.

"I never seek publicity, but now I make an exception and ask the public to adjust their behavior", Blom said. "It is unacceptable that the people who ensure we can continue to drive as smoothly as possible become the target of aggression."

There have also been 22 incidents of motorists colliding with a Rijkswaterstaat vehicle this year. "In addition to aggression, our people also have to deal with many road users who do not pay attention", Blom said. "People who are busy with their smartphones or other things behind the wheel."

Dutch road inspectors were recently given additional powers. They can now fine road users for driving on the emergency lane, and fine truckers who ignore height restrictions. This likely means that they will have even more contact with annoyed road users. 

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