02 March 2023, by Victoria Séveno

Safe Traffic Netherlands (VVN), an organisation monitoring road safety in the Netherlands, has called for the speed limit on provincial roads (N-roads) to be lowered from 80 to 60 kilometres an hour in order to prevent traffic accidents. 

41 percent of fatal traffic accidents happen on provincial roads

According to figures from the Dutch police, 41 percent of all fatal traffic accidents in the Netherlands take place on 60 and 80-kilometre-an-hour roads, generally known as provincial roads and signposted with an N. According to VVN, speed regularly plays a significant role in the majority of traffic accidents.

Managed, as the name suggests, by the provinces, provincial roads are narrower than motorways, and are typically single or dual-carriageways. They generally also have narrow shoulders and are lined by trees, or even houses and businesses.

VVN calling for reduced speed limits and stricter enforcement

VVN, therefore, argues that provincial roads are not appropriately safe: “The government has opted for the so-called risk-driven approach and then it is not appropriate that 80 kilometres can be driven on a road with trees at a distance of 60 centimetres.”

The organisation is calling for reduced speed limits, tougher rules and stricter enforcement, specifically on N-roads: “Section checks, mobile unmanned control systems and higher fines for excessive offenders that can ensure more effective enforcement, seem to be mainly reserved for the main road network, while they may also offer opportunities for 60 and 80-kilometre roads.”

Improving road safety in the Netherlands

VVN isn’t the only group concerned about Dutch speed limits. Last year, Utrecht presented a plan to reduce the speed limit on 20 percent of provincial roads in the province to 60 kilometres an hour, while this year drivers in Amsterdam will see the speed limit on 270 kilometres of city roads be reduced to 30 kilometres per hour.

Thumb: Jan van der Wolf via Shutterstock.com.

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