No decrease in traffic deaths during coronavirus lockdown
While the roads in the Netherlands are much quieter since the government implemented an intelligent lockdown to fight the coronavirus, the number of fatalities in traffic accidents remained about the same, AD reports based on figures from the police and trafficking engineering office VIA.
Between March 16 and April 26, a total of 62 people died in traffic accidents in the Netherlands. In the past three years, there were 65 traffic deaths in that period.
While the number of fatal accidents remained about the same, the total number of accidents halved compared to previous years. This may be because the lack of traffic jams on the roads resulted in fewer bumper bashings and other minor accidents.
The figures surprised the police, traffic manager Paul Broer said to the newspaper. "There is a bit of an atmosphere of the car-free Sundays of yesteryear, because of the corona restrictions," he said. "The traffic image has completely changed due to the lockdown. In the normal busy image, everyone pays close attention, looks around three times. Now it seems less."
According to VIA, the figures show that older people and children are more at risk in traffic under the coronavirus lockdown. "With children it probably has to do in part with the fact that after the schools closed, they started to play and cycle outside more," Erik Donkers of VIA said to the newspaper. Older people are also cycling more during the crisis, he said.
The researchers also found that the number of accidents involving vans increased, likely because of more online shopping. There were also more accidents involving motorcycles, perhaps due to the nice weather over the past weeks.