21 September 2023, by Emily Proctor
In 2022, the total number of incidents where the perpetrator did not stop or was uninsured was 44.000. That means that an average of four motorists flee the scene of an accident that caused personal injuries each day without stopping to report the crime, compared to just 3,3 times per day in 2020.
Property damage not reported on average 118 times a day
Though the figures on personal injury hit and runs are shocking, the figures for those who damage property through driving and fail to report the damage are even higher. According to De Telegraaf, there are, on average, around 118 instances of property damage every day where the perpetrator fails to stop or report their fault.
The statistics, which the newspaper obtained through data published by the Motor Traffic Guarantee Fund, make for shocking reading, but explain why such instances are covered more frequently in the Dutch media. Recently, there have been several high-profile hit-and-runs, one involving an elderly couple who died crossing a bridge in Rotterdam after being hit by a 37-year-old driver from Nijmegen.
Most hit-and-run suspects are eventually identified, say authorities
According to the Motor Traffic Guarantee Fund, most of the perpetrators who fled the scene of a hit-and-runs were eventually identified by the Dutch police or other Dutch driving authorities. “Especially in the case of serious accidents, because they are often identified by the police. That is done via licence plates or camera footage,” Motor Traffic Guarantee Fund spokesperson Bert Sonneveld told De Telegraaf.
Many hit-and-run drivers also turn themselves in 24 hours after the accident. According to Sonneveld, this is usually because of two reasons: firstly, because the driver may have panicked and fled the scene out of fear, or secondly, because the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the accident. In the second case, it can be difficult to detect whether the perpetrator was driving under the influence of banned substances after 24 hours had passed. “After a while, alcohol is no longer visible in the blood,” Sonneveld added.
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