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Tuesday, September 22, 2020
   

 

The latest developments

In 2010 the road authorities increasingly acted in situations involving trucks that had broken down or could not proceed any further, sending a salvage vehicle more often and more proactively to an incident scene and resulting in a significantly larger number of reported incidents. Not only was the highways authority more proactive in notifications but the conveyance of incidents from the CMV to the STI was faster and more frequent in 2010. The number of notifications received by the STI grew by 55%, almost entirely by phone. The number of times that the STI went to the scene remained more or less the same.

Growing number of incidents

The number of registered incidents rose in 2010 compared to 2009 by about 23% to a total of 5,155. In 4,280 cases this concerned stranded vehicles and in 875 incidents these were accidents.

The rise in 2010 reveals a different picture than in previous years. The significant rise in breakdowns appears to be the consequence of the policy of immediately sending out a salvage vehicle in the event of a breakdown. The number of accidents fell by 16.5%.

The increasing business activity following the crisis in 2008 and 2009 has led to more freight traffic on Dutch roads. Also road works, for which there is a proactive notification policy, have helped to increase the number of incident notifications.

Responding to severe winters

The winter of 2010 was the coldest winter since 1996 with much more snow than normal. As a result of this snow, Rijkswaterstaat instigated new measures such as the speed blanket and traffic alarm notices. In response to the intensified pressure on the salvage companies, Rijkswaterstaat gave verbal permission for the salvage companies to temporarily tow away vehicles over the hard shoulder. Highways inspectors were also deployed to assist stranded vehicles. 17 December 2010 was the day on which the peak of the snow problems was reached.

The CMV received 75 notifications compared to the 15 on a normal weekday. In incidental situations there was regional upscaling to GRIP 2 to enable a driving ban and parking regime for trucks.

On days when there was snow there were significantly more cases of jack-knifing  and damaged vehicles next to the roadway as well as one-sided accidents. Breakdowns, accidents involving two or more vehicles and tyre problems were also more frequent but to a lesser extent. Remarkably, overturned vehicles are no more frequent an occurrence in icy conditions than in the rest of the year.

Foreign trucks

Drivers of foreign trucks regularly park their vehicles for their compulsory breaks on hard shoulders and in breakdown zones, thus forming a hazard to other traffic. Rijkswaterstaat has been wrestling with this problem for years. The Traffic and Shipping Department (DVS) of Rijkswaterstaat had a survey carried out and it revealed that every year more than 7,000 trucks are wrongly parked. DVS has suggested measures that are being experimented with in the Eindhoven region and in Limburg. The KLPD will be responsible for the enforcement of these measures.

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