Some 7.8 million minor traffic offences recorded in 2020

In 7779461, 9,223,477 fines were issued for traffic offences on Dutch roads under the Traffic Regulations (Administrative Enforcement) Act (Wet administratiefrechtelijke handhaving verkeersvoorschriften). This represents a decrease compared with the same period of the previous year, when 8,369,480 traffic fines were issued for infringements such as speeding, driving through red lights and using a hand-held phone in traffic. These figures were published in the 2020 summary of traffic fines.* The drop will be partly because there was less traffic on the road on average last year since the government's mid-March 2020 call to stay home as much as possible because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The decrease in the number of traffic fines is mainly due to fewer traffic offences detected on the basis of the Traffic Regulations (Administrative Enforcement) Act: 7.223,157 in 2020, up from 7,838,782 a year earlier. In contrast, the number of traffic fines after a standing arrest increased last year from 530,698 in 2019 to 556,304 in 2020. The increase in the number of arrests can be partly explained by the police's increased focus on traffic offences, such as speeding, failure to stop at a red traffic light and distraction caused by phone use, for example. The police also indicated that they were concentrating more on traffic behaviour and excessive offences, because there were fewer planned and themed traffic controls as a result of the COVID measures.

Telephone use

The number of fines for holding and using mobile phones showed a striking increase. Last year, 168,034 fines were issued for this, compared to 121,364 in 2019. Since last year, this has also been monitored using traffic cameras, but over the year as a whole the majority of these fines were imposed following an arrest. The growth is also now mainly attributable to recorded offences for holding mobile phones in your hand when cycling; this is as a result of the stricter legislation as of 1 July 2019 regarding handheld phone use. In the months of July through December 2019, this involved 21,327 fines, compared to 47,955 for all of 2020.

Speeding offences

Most traffic fines were imposed for speeding: 6.364,875 in 2020, up from 6,833,365 a year earlier. The majority of these offences were detected with digital enforcement tools using number plate recognition technology. In 2020, 2,803,661 speeding fines were imposed after being checked with a speed camera, compared to 3,478,825 in 2019. There were also 1,476,304 instances of speeding using mobile radar sets, compared with 1,443,782 a year earlier.

A slight increase can be seen in the number of speeding violations detected using section control systems. Last year, 18 section controls were added on N roads. These are provincial roads where relatively many accidents occur due to speeding. At section controls, the total number of speeding tickets detected increased from 1,832,599 in 2019 to 1,963,918 last year.

Foreign-based traffic offenders

Of all traffic fines imposed in 2020, 870,695 fines were sent to a foreign traffic offender, up from 1,000,460 a year earlier. This is primarily due to the fact that more countries have joined the automated vehicle registration data exchange system, which is based on the European Union Directive entitled Cross Border Enforcement (CBE). This means that drivers from these countries will automatically receive a fine at home if they have committed a traffic violation in the Netherlands which has been established with a digital enforcement tool.

* The four-monthly summary of traffic fines pursuant to the Traffic Regulations (Administrative Enforcement) Act, also known as the Mulder Act, is compiled by the Ministry of Justice and Security, the National Police, the Central Fine Collection Agency (CJIB) and the Public Prosecution Service (OM).