VVN dreams of speed reduction on N roads from 80 to 60 km/h
Excessive speed on N roads
In the Netherlands, about six percent of the road network is provincial roads, so-called N roads. “A major factor for these accidents is that in many cases people were driving at excessive speeds on roads that are not optimally safe,” said Rob Stomphorst, spokesman for Veilig Verkeer Nederland.
From 80 to 60 km/h on N roads
He continued: “Speed plays a particularly important cause of traffic accidents on 80 km/h roads when they are not optimally safe and credibly designed. The government has opted for the so-called risk-driven approach and then it does not fit that on a road with trees at 60 cm distance, 80 km can be driven.”
578 traffic fatalities
There were 578 traffic fatalities last year, with speed being a major cause in many cases. Stomphorst: “This is why we call on provinces, as road managers, to take responsibility for improving both infrastructure and enforcement (of speed) on these roads. On N-roads there are no swerve possibilities if an oncoming vehicle gets on the wrong side of the road. Life-threatening. Better if on roads like that the speed goes down to 60 kilometers per hour.”
VVN says the following: “In addition to optimally safe road design, speed enforcement remains an important means of reducing speeds. Enforcement on both speed and alcohol use has come under pressure in recent years, reducing the subjective chance of being caught. Certainly on provincial roads there are fewer checks.”
Stomhorst: “As many as 95% of all traffic accidents occur as a result of human error. It is generally believed that nearly a third of fatal accidents are related to speeding or speeding inappropriate to the circumstances. Of the total number of 8.1 million traffic fines in 2022, as many as 6.5 million were imposed for speeding. Therefore, the responsibility for road safety lies not only with the province as road authority, but also with all road users. So with all of us.”
Criticism of VVN proposal
Stichting Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Verkeersveiligheid (SWOV) sees VVN’s proposal as a joke and seriously questions its feasibility. Specifically, because replacing a sign from 80 to 60 is not going to impact the speed driven by people. Only with proper enforcement is such a step feasible and realistic. So for now, the speed reduction to 60 km/h on N roads is mainly a VVN dream. Whether that dream comes true or shatters, the future must tell.