Road traffic safety a concern for the Netherlands

Road traffic safety is a growing concern for the Netherlands.
December 13, 2023 45 seconds Read
By MJ Woof
The Netherlands is seeing a worrying increase in road deaths and crashes - image © courtesy of Mike Woof

The Netherlands has seen a worrying increase in road deaths for 2022. There were 745 road deaths in the Netherlands in 2022, an increase to a level not seen for 15 years.

In 2021 the Netherlands saw road deaths fall to 582, although this low level reflected the drop in traffic due to the lockdown measures imposed during the global COVID-19 pandemic. That road deaths jumped by 163 fatalities for 2022 is of major concern.

The Netherlands had aimed to halve road deaths from the 2020 figures by 2030 but this target now appears highly optimistic.

Vulnerable road users figured highly in the road death statistics, with 39% of those killed being cyclists. Vehicle occupants accounted for 30% of the road deaths meanwhile. It is worth noting however that the Netherlands has a much higher level of cycling than most developed nations with a far greater total distance cycled/head of population than other countries. This shows why so many of the road deaths involve cyclists and the country remains amongst the safest place in the world to travel on the road, including on two wheels.

Road deaths hit a peak in the Netherlands in 1972 at around 3,250. A major campaign on road safety followed, with the casualty rate dropping afterwards.