Police to launch EUR 80m traffic ticket blitz
27 April 2004, AMSTERDAM — Dutch police are expected to issue hundreds of thousands additional traffic fines this year. Sources say the blitz is designed to boost government coffers by EUR 80 million and improve road safety.
27 April 2004
AMSTERDAM — Dutch police are expected to issue hundreds of thousands additional traffic fines this year. Sources say the blitz is designed to boost government coffers by EUR 80 million and improve road safety.
Unnamed sources close to the Coalition Cabinet told Dutch media organisations the initiative is part of Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm's massive savings drive.
The government has committed itself to cutting billions of euros of spending every year to eliminate the budget deficit by 2007.
Given that the average fine comes to EUR 40, it could take up to 2 million additional fines to hit the ambitious EUR 80 million financial target. Fines for speeding are, however, dependent on the extent of the violation: the higher the speed the higher the fine.
Officials are also said to be considering the option of raising the cash amount of traffic fines to raise even more money.
Ministers have not yet given a definite decision on this, and a final decision is expected in the run up to Prinsjesdag, or Prince's day, on the third Tuesday in September. Prinsjesdag is the Netherlands' annual budget day.
The number of road violations issued in 2003 rose to a record 10.6 million and raised EUR 440 million.
The majority were issued for speeding in urban areas, failure to wear a safety belt, driving under the influence of alcohol and running a red light, newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported.
Whether a new blitz will also help to improve road safety is questionable – last year the number of deaths on the road rose for the first time in years despite the massive increase in ticketing.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news + driving in the Netherlands