Over 450 injured, 11 killed in Dutch police car accidents
A study over three years reveals that accidents involving police cars and motorbikes have left 11 dead and 483 injured.THE NETHERLANDS – Accidents involving police cars and motorbikes killed 11 people and injured 483 from 2005 to 2007, according to police figures published by De Volkskrant.
The people killed or injured in the accidents are made up of both policemen and civilians. Ten policemen and one civilian were killed while 440 civilians and 43 policemen were injured. Material damage amounted to EUR 46 million, according to the paper.
In 2005, the Dutch Police Union raised the alarm about the relatively high number of accidents involving police vehicles, but exact figures were not known. This led to the introduction of extra driving courses for policemen, but they appear less than enthusiastic: out of 20,000 policemen who are entitled to take the course, only 1,200 registered.
According to the union, police officers are often reluctant to sign up for driving courses as the departments are generally understaffed and officers cannot afford to be away on course for the whole day.
The report does not specify whether police vehicles involved in collisions were displaying flashlights or sounding a siren at the time of the accident.
Policemen who are held responsible for a collision are prosecuted just like civilians, but it is not known how often this occurred in the period under review.
A spokesman for the Dutch Police Union told NOS Radio that responsible police officers often go to extremes when chasing suspects, even if the offence in question is relatively minor because it is part of their job.
In talks with the police union in 2008, Minister of Interior Affairs Guusje ter Horst hinted that she might make the course mandatory for all police from 2010.
Radio Netherlands / Expatica