Traffic is composed of three factors, namely:
- the vehicle.
- the environment.
If any of these factors fail, a dangerous situation occurs, or of an accident. When these three things are well coordinated, there is good harmony, which can drastically reduce the number of accidents, which are now happening in the Netherlands.
Whatever accident you look at, it always boils down to a failure of one of these three factors. Unfortunately, it must be stated here, that in about 95% of accidents the human factor is the cause. In about 3% the vehicle plays a role, while in 2% it is the road.
Traffic (un)safety deserves full attention. About 1,000,000 accidents occur annually in the Netherlands. As a result, 1,100 to 1,400 people die and 50,000 are injured. Since World War II, the numbers have been kept up and we now sit at 105,000 deaths and 2.6 million injuries in traffic. These are frightening figures. For every 100,000 inhabitants, 7 people die in traffic and 90 are injured.
However, as long as someone from one’s own family/family has not been involved in a collision and either lost their life or was injured, these numbers say nothing. Who feels like dwelling at length on some chilly numbers. Yet every Dutch person has a 60% chance of being injured in an accident at some point in their life. Statistically, every Dutch person gets into a traffic accident once in their lifetime.
However, there has been a decline in recent years. While in 1977 there were 2583 deaths and 64,500 injuries, in 1997 those figures were 1238 deaths and 45,500 injuries. So there has been a drastic decline. Although it appears, that the decline will continue, it is necessary to continue with the method of approach as currently held. What does this approach entail.
As I said, human error is largely the cause of accidents. Therefore, most of the attention is also focused on humans. Vehicle manufacturers try in many ways to make vehicles as safe as possible. Road authorities do all kinds of things to make road safety the best it can be.
If we were to achieve in the Netherlands, that the use of the seatbelt increases by 10% it would result in a saving of 30 deaths and 200 injuries.
Since the government cannot accomplish this alone, help was sought from the province. After all, they are closer to the population and therefore have a more direct contact with it. A Regional Road Safety Organ (R.O.V.) was established in each province. They fulfill the coordination and transfer of knowledge and experience to the municipalities. Even more direct contact with the population had the congregation. Therefore, the obvious solution was to allow municipalities to contribute to the task force. This created the -25% action. Every municipality that signed up to it received a starting capital of 1 guilder per resident.
If the municipality managed to reduce the number of deaths and injuries by 5% per year, it received a sum of F 5000.00 for each injured person saved. In addition, incentive prizes were awarded to anyone who has made a special contribution to road safety. These amounts were obviously intended to incentivize municipalities to do something in the area of road safety.
To achieve the objective, a number of focal points were chosen. These focal points are:
- Alcohol in traffic.
- Using the seat belt and crash helmet.
- the approach to so-called. Blackspots. (places where, as a rule, more collisions occur than in similar situations and where the situation calls for a change)
- Adjusting speed behavior.
- Road bottleneck improvement.
Since statistics show that most collisions occur among the young and the elderly, the policy was directed primarily at them.