Number of minor traffic offences back to ‘pre-COVID-19' era

With almost 8.5 million minor traffic offences under the Traffic Regulations (Administrative Enforcement) Act (Wahv) in 2023, the number of minor traffic offences has for the first time exceeded the level before the measures taken to restrict COVID-19. A total of 8,463,917 orders under the Wahv, also known as the Mulder fines, were issued. There were 8,153,043 in 2022, and 8,369,480 in the last year before COVID-19 (2019). This is according to the annual figures of the Central Judicial Collection Agency (CJIB) for 2023.

The majority of all fines were issued by license plate number, but in almost 620 thousand cases, the fine followed after arrest. That was the case in 7.3% of all fines, 1% more than in 2022.

Largest increase in the ‘other’ category

The bulk of fines were issued for speeding, illegal parking or running a red light. But the biggest increase was in the so-called other category (from 974,108 to 1,210,416). For instance, significantly more people drove into an area where they were not allowed (car-free city centres, environmental zones: some 130,000 more minor offences) and the number of fines for not wearing a helmet rose by almost 50,000. To combat the number of serious injuries following accidents involving moped riders, wearing a helmet on mopeds also became compulsory last year.

Use of a phone in cars and on bicycles was also ticketed more often: in total, the number of fines rose by over 21 thousand to almost 200 thousand. Over 62 thousand were for the use of a phone on bicycles (some 9,000 more than in 2022). Over the past year, the police have put considerable effort into detecting the use of a phone behind the wheel and on bicycles.

Speeding offences

Most orders were issued for speeding offences: 6,546,450. This was just slightly more than in 2022: 6,512,086. Within this total, for the second year in a row, the number of minor offences at section controls fell: from 2,026,939 to 1,864,402. The decrease is mainly visible on the so-called N roads, the provincial roads. Furthermore, 2023 was the first full year in which flex speed cameras were active. These are temporarily deployed in places where, according to data from for example police or road authorities, dangerous situations have arisen. 472,287 speeding offences were detected.

Foreign traffic offenders

The number of traffic offenders with foreign licence plates fell very slightly in 2023: from 874,539 in 2022 to 872,368 in 2023. Among these licence plate holders as well, most minor offences were recorded for speeding. Most offenders came from Belgium, Germany, France, Poland, Romania and Spain.