Speed limits lead to 25pc fall in deaths
26 September 2006, AMSTERDAM — The number of traffic fatalities in the Netherlands declined by 25 percent between 2001 and 2005, a European study revealed on Tuesday.
26 September 2006
AMSTERDAM — The number of traffic fatalities in the Netherlands declined by 25 percent between 2001 and 2005, a European study revealed on Tuesday.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) said the decline was the seventh largest among the 25 EU member states.
The ETSC said the decrease was remarkable given the fact that the Netherlands already has the second lowest number of traffic fatalities on a per capita basis. Malta records the least amount of deaths.
The organisation suspects that a lot of accidents in the Netherlands are prevented due to lower speeds. It said several urban areas had reduced their speed limits from 50kmh to 30kmh.
The ETSC said construction of new roundabouts had also saved lives, as had the declining use of mopeds.
A ranking of the countries based in terms of improved safety was presented in Brussels on Tuesday.
France topped the rankings, recording a 35 percent fall in the number of deaths, followed by Luxembourg (34 percent) and Belgium (27 percent).
Hundreds of new speed cameras have been installed in France and Belgium.
Along with eight other countries, the Netherlands is well on the road to meeting the target of reducing traffic fatalities by half between 2001 and 2010.
But Europe as a whole is behind schedule. "If every country had met its pledges, 8,000 lives in the European Union would have been spared," ETSC director Jörg Beckmannvan said.
Lithuania is performing the worst. It already had the most dangerous roads in the EU and in the past four years, the number of deaths increased by 8 percent.
On a per capita basis, four times the number of deaths occur in Lithuania compared with the Netherlands.
Accidents claimed the lives of 750 people on Dutch roads in 2005, compared with 993 in 2001.
The ETSC defines a traffic fatality as someone who dies within 30 days of an accident.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news