Earlier this month the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice here in The Hague released a report about driving violations in the Netherlands. The report stated that during the four month period May-August (2013), a total of 3,423,794 traffic/driving violations were recorded. The violations ranged from parking violations and not wearing a seatbelt to running a red light and speeding. This was up 5.2% from the number of violations recorded a year ago.
Having read The Undutchables, and already being aware that Dutch driving skills are a bit…lacking, I still found this report a bit alarming consider there are only about 8.6 million autos in the Netherlands. That means over this 4-month period, 40% of car owners were cited for a vehicle operation infraction. Yes 40%! True, you could argue that there may have been circumstances where the same driver had multiple citations. But even if you over-compensated that possibility, and reduced the percentage of car owners cited down to say 35%, it still means over one third of Dutch drivers didn’t follow the rules for properly operating a motor vehicle in Holland during that period.
Over the course of a year, that translates into more driving violations being written than the total number of cars owned in the Netherlands.
This report, however, was not released to make a point about poor driving skills in the Netherlands. Its purpose was to announce that violations recorded by new digital traffic enforcement cameras would be handled (starting in November) by the Central Judicial Collection Agency, instead of the police department. This action will help lighten the load of the Politie. [Side Note: One might infer the extra time the police will have may be put to good use by writing even more tickets, but that’s hypothesizing.]
Back on point, is anyone else out there disturbed by the high number of traffic citations issued? What it has made clearer to me is the bond that exist between the Dutch and their bikes. Because, let’s face it, with so many drivers violating the rules of the road, it is safe to sxay their driving skills are for the [Anouk] birds!
Should you choose to share the roads with Dutch drivers, check out the many car dealerships in South Holland listed in the Directory where you can find both new and used vehicles.
If you would like to acquire a Dutch driver’s license, and cannot exchange your foreign license, you may need to take lessons at an approved driving school in order to qualify to take the Dutch driving license exam here in the Netherlands.