More than 67000 fewer traffic fines issued to Dutch motorists

More than 67000 fewer traffic fines issued to Dutch motorists

More than 67,000 fewer traffic fines were issued to Dutch motorists in the past year, new figures show.

In 2012, 9,661,094 traffic fines were imposed for, among other things, exceeding the maximum speed limit, jumping red lights, parking offences, failing to wear seat belts or helmets, hand-held telephoning while driving and cycling without lights. This is 0.7 percent, or 67,724 fines, fewer than in 2011. This was revealed today following the publication of the annual overview of traffic fines for 2012.

During the first six months of 2012 the number of traffic fines decreased due to a combination of factors. The increase in the fines as of 1 January 2012 resulted in improved compliance with the rules by road users. In addition, a number of section control routes were temporarily disabled due to roadworks and maintenance work.

The decrease did not continue into the second half of 2012. Improved section control systems, the introduction of a new controlled section on the A2 motorway as of 23 July 2012 and the digitalisation of speed cameras made it easier to enforce traffic regulations and this meant that more penalties were imposed during the second half of 2012.

In 2012, as in the year before, the police imposed fewer fines on road users they stopped. This is reflected in, for example, the lower number of penalties for not wearing a seat belt or helmet, for hand-held telephoning while driving, or for the lack of bicycle lights.

The majority of the traffic fines were imposed due to motorists exceeding the maximum speed limit: a total of 7,600,173 fines. As in previous years, most of the people caught speeding in 2012 were driving in built-up areas: This is 45.2% of the total number of fines. Twenty-three percent of the fines were issued on regional roads outside built-up areas and 31.8 percent on motorways.

Section control
The total number of traffic fines proposed via section control was 1,450,522 in 2012, compared to 740,102 in 2011. These internally automated systems, which are always operational, are located on busy roads. As a result, they are the source of a relatively large number of traffic offences.

The controlled section of the A2 motorway from Amsterdam to Utrecht (between Holendrecht and Maarssen) was the scene of the largest number of speeding offences in 2012, for which 483,767 fines were imposed. After a certain period of time, drivers became more and more aware of the section control on the A2 motorway and became better at observing the maximum speed limit. This is reflected in the fact that the number of violations observed on the controlled section of the A2 motorway decreased dramatically during the last few months of 2012: from 194,000 in September to 60,500 in December.

New maximum speed
What is more, a new maximum speed limit of 130 km/h has applied on many of the motorways in the Netherlands since 1 September 2012. Last year, this new maximum speed limit was exceeded 28,205 times on sections where it is in force. This is 0.37 percent of the total number of speeding fines in 2012. Of the 28,205 speeding offences in excess of 130 km/h, 15,171 were committed in the last third of the year (September to December).

Source: Dutch government

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