At least one person was killed in a head-on collision on the A12 highway towards Arnhem on Friday morning. The accident was very likely caused by a wrong way driver, the police said on Twitter at around 6:30 a.m.
The maximum speed limit on all Dutch highways was reduced to 100 kilometers per hour as of Monday, March 16. Until Monday, the maximum speed limit was 120 km/h on some roads. This speed imit applies between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., according to travelers association ANWB and public works department Rijkswaterstaat.
The Netherlands awoke to a country that has largely come to a stand still on Monday morning. With businesses, schools and daycares largely ordered shut until April 6th, the roads and public transit were very quiet. As a result, both travelers association ANWB and public works department Rijkswaterstaat reported no traffic jams this morning - an unprecedented situation, NU.nl reports.
People in the Netherlands seem to be heeding Prime Minsitter Mark Rutte's call to work from home as much as possible. The train stations were "extremely quiet" on Friday morning. And there were hardly any traffic jams on the roads.
It was "extremely quiet" on the trains and a the stations on Friday morning, a spokesperson for rail company NS said to NU.nl. "We actually have not had a rush hour. We do not have hard figures yet, but conductors and employees at stations see the call to work from home and not to go out has been answered."
The Limburg Water Board placed huge sandbags in Vlodrop to protect a castle against water overflowing from the Roer river. The Roer usually flows at 100 cubic meters of water per second, but that increased to 120 cubic meters per second on Thursday. The water level already reached its height and is now falling again, NOS reports.
Thousands of farmers are heading towards The Hague on Wednesday morning to again protest against the government's nitrogen policy. The police ordered the farmers to stay off the highways with their tractors. Public works department Rijkswaterstaat therefore expects a morning rush hour that is no busier than usual, NU.nl reports.
The head of public works department Rijkswaterstaat allowed Amsterdam construction company Bontrup to dump thousands of tons of waste in a natural lake in Gelderland, the Volkskrant reports based on research by Zembla. Rijkswaterstaat approved this dumping shortly after former Foreign Affairs Minister Halbe Zijlstra became involved, according to the newspaper.
The waste involved is granulite, which is a byproduct of processing granite and sandstone. It is considered "soil" by the Dutch authorities, but concerns about its effects on the environment were raised in 2018.
Most residents of the Netherlands are not worried that they will eventually face major problems due to the increased risk of flooding climate change brings with it. 80 percent are "very" or "fairly" confident that the government will take appropriate measures in time, according to a survey of almost 1,100 people by the Flood Protection Program - an alliance of public works department Rijkswaterstaat and the water boards in the Netherlands, NOS reports.
Extremely thick fog that caused many problems on Dutch roads throughout New Year's Eve is still present in large parts of the Netherlands. Meteorological institute KNMI currently has a code yellow warning in place for the entire country except Zeeland, warning that visibility may be reduced to less than 200 meters in some places.
"Dangerous driving conditions due to poor visibility," KNMI warned. Road users are advised to drive slowly and keep a safe following distance. "Follow weather reports and warnings."
Protesting farmers are causing quite a bit of traffic chaos in Netherlands on Wednesday morning. At Alkmaar, a group of around 80 tractors climbed onto the A9 highway towards Amsterdam - against the orders of the police.
This evening is Pakjesavond in the Netherlands - the evening on which Sinterklaas delivers his gifts. As a result, evening rush hour is expected to start earlier and be busier than usual, as many people leave work earlier than normal to get home on time, travelers association ANWB and public works department Rijkswaterstaat warn.
Commuters throughout the Netherlands can expect thick fog along the roadways Thursday morning, and the reduced visibility was likely to cause problems throughout the morning at Eindhoven Airport. Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code yellow warning for the whole country except Zeeland and the Wadden Islands, with visibility falling below 200 meters in some places.
In the past three years there were over 60 thousand traffic accidents at intersections in the Netherlands. A total of 476 of these accidents proved fatal, and people were injured in nearly 16 thousand accidents, reports RTL Nieuws. The broadcaster conducted its own analysis of police and Rijkswaterstaat data of over 250 thousand road accidents in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
The roads across the Netherlands were jammed up more than usual just before the Tuesday morning rush hour was underway. There were local reports of fog in several parts of the country, as well as rain and scattered showers in several provinces.
A rough rush hour was likely on the roads both Tuesday morning and at the end of the workday, according to infrastructure agency Rijkswaterstaat.
A large protest by construction workers on the Malieveld in The Hague has come to an end and protesters have started to leave the city. The police made several arrests during the protest, but will only announce the actual number of arrests at the end of the day. Travelers' association ANWB expects a busy evening rush hour, especially around The Hague, as the protesters and their construction vehicles head home.
One person was killed and six people were hurt in an accident on the A73 highway near Nijmegen on Tuesday. At least three people were taken to hospital by ambulance.
The first ambulance was dispatched to the scene just before 9:45 a.m., followed by a trauma team by helicopter a few minutes later. A total of five paramedic teams were sent out, excluding the trauma helicopter. The situation was elevated to a GRIP 1 at 10:03 a.m. - which means that a commanding officer from one of the emergency services took command of the entire scene for all responding agencies.
Public works department Rijkswaterstaat closed the A12 highway from Utrecht to Den Haag at Nootdorp at the request of the police. The highway is overcrowded with farmers on tractors heading towards The Hague for a demonstration. Rijkswaterstaat advises motorists to avoid the highways around The Hague region.
Hundreds of farmers have taken to the streets on their tractors in another protest against nitrogen measures. They will start their protest in De Bilt, near the national institute for public health and environment RIVM, and then move on to The Hague around midday. Traffic is already piling up, with 346 kilometers of traffic jams reported by 7:15 a.m., according to the ANWB.
Road works on the Galecopper Bridge will cause traffic problems on the A12 around Utrecht for the coming month, Rijkswaterstaat expects. The work on the bridge started on Thursday night and means that fewer lanes are open on the A12 towards Arnhem. Traffic jams started piling up early on Friday morning, according to travelers' association ANWB.
Just before 7:00 a.m. the ANWB reported the first traffic jams related to these road works. Traffic was piling up on the A12 from Harmelen and on the A2 from Nieuwegein.
The Afsluitdijk is officially closed to cyclists for the next three years. In the coming years, the dyke will be reinforced and its locks and pumps will be renovated, NOS reports.
The closure of the bicycle path on the Afsluitdijk, which runs between Den Over in Noord-Holland to Zurich in Friesland, was originally scheduled for April 1st. But after protest, public works department Rijkswaterstaat decided to postpone the closure. Sunday was the last day on which cyclists could use the bike path for the time being.
With extremely hot weather expected in the coming days, rail manager ProRail and public works department Rijkswaterstaat are taking extra measures to ensure that traffic flows as smoothly as possible. Temperatures above 35 degrees are expected, which can cause problems on both the road and the tracks. A number of events are also taking measures, NOS and NU.nl report.
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.
Where a nationwide public transit strike only resulted in somewhat busier-than-usual evening rush hour on Tuesday, the prospect of a long weekend caused the busiest evening rush hour of the year on Wednesday. According to travelers' association ANWB, at its peak there were over 1 thousand kilometers of traffic jams on Dutch roads on Wednesday evening, NU.nl reports.
As a national one-day public transit strike was almost halfway finished in the Netherlands, traffic was already beginning to pile up on highways in the Netherlands from 3 p.m. on Tuesday. Drivers jammed up nearly 450 kilometers of highways by 4:45 p.m., up from roughly 300 kilometers of traffic jams 40 minutes earlier, according to travelers' association ANWB.