Road traffic and road safety
In 2015 the number of road fatalities and road casualties had increased in comparison with 2014, as turned out from the 2016 Monitor Policy Stimulus Road Safety drawn up by the Institute for Road Safety Research (SWOV). Special attention has to be given to vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, drivers of mobility scooters and vehicles for disabled persons and senior citizens. Almost half of the victims of bicycle accidents are aged 60 or over.
On 26 May 2016, the House of Representatives already spoke about the increase in the number of road fatalities in 2015. On the request of the House, minister Schulz of Infrastructure and the Environment is now working on improving the road accident registration. In the future it will be possible to use ambulance data to this end, for example. Moreover, SWOV and VeiligheidNL, a public benefit corporation that focuses on the prevention of accidents, carry out further research into drunk driving, road rage and senior cyclists. From now on the House of Representatives will be provided with information about road accidents anually. The information provided will include all the figures as well as the SWOV-analyses.
Road casualties black paper
A black paper issued by the road casualties association (Vereniging Verkeersslachtoffers -- VVS) sums up the problems that victims may face after an accident. On 8 December 2015 VVS presented its black paper to the House. VVS hopes that politicians will change the legislation on road accidents and traffic offences, in order to improve the position of the victims. In reply to the black paper minister Schultz and minister Ard van der Steur (Security and Justice) wrote to the House that they are working on three bills. The right to be heard in criminal proceedings will be extended, for instance, and victims will be provided with more information. The ministers' proposals also enhance the position of the victims' (surviving) relatives.
Speed pedelecs on the roadway
A speed pedelec is an electric bike capable of riding at speeds up to 45 km/hr. As from 1 January 2017, speed pedelecs are subject to the same rules as mopeds. This means that speed pedelecs, like mopeds, are allowed to use the roadway. Within six months all speed pedelecs must have yellow moped number plates. At the request of the House of Representatives, minister Schultz will commission research from SWOV into speed pedelec users' driving behaviour. The minister hopes to inform the House about the results of this research before Prince's Day 2017.