Significant fall in road deaths in 2013

In the Netherlands, 570 people lost their lives in road traffic accidents in 2013. That is 80 fewer than in the previous year, and represents a drop of over 12 percent. The reduction is considerably higher than the European average of 8 percent. In particular, there were fewer fatalities among motorcycle riders, alongside passenger car occupants, cyclists and pedestrians. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment announced the figures today.

Minister Schultz van Haegen: “I am pleased that the reduction in the number of road deaths is a continuing trend. These figures confirm that the Netherlands has one of the world’s highest levels of road safety. The fewer road accident fatalities we have, the better. We want to reduce the number to a maximum of 500 in 2020.”

Age

The number of children (aged 0 to 18) who were killed in traffic fell from 40 in 2012 to 23 in 2013, a drop of 42.5%. In 2013, fewer people aged over 65 were victims of fatal road accidents. However, with 230 fatalities in 2013, they remain a vulnerable group, especially when cycling.

Transport mode

The number of fatalities fell for virtually every mode of transport. There was a significant drop of 46% among motorcycle riders. The number of cyclists killed in traffic fell by 8%. Just like in previous years, the highest number of fatalities was for people travelling in passenger cars, but a fall of 17% was also recorded for this group.

Road type

The number of fatalities on national roads and motorways in 2012 was 32 fewer than in the previous year. This is a reduction of 36%. There were also fewer fatalities on the underlying road network. On provincial roads, there were 20 fewer fatalities, and 29 fewer people were killed on municipal roads.

Measures

In the Beleidsimpuls Verkeersveiligheid (Road Safety Policy Incentive) Minister Schultz is working with authorities and civil society partners to further improve road safety. Given that by far the most fatalities occur on the underlying road network, the Minister has agreed with the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) that all Dutch municipalities will draw up a Veilig Fietsen (Safe Cycling) approach. This approach will set out measures aimed at making cycling safer. The Minister is being supported in this endeavour by an ambassadors group of seven mayors and the King’s Commissioner for Overijssel. Minister Schultz is also supporting the Blijf Veilig Mobiel (Stay Safely Mobile) programme which focuses on safe mobility for seniors.