Netherlands

More cyclists die on Dutch roads as lockdown alters traffic patterns

Photo: Depositphotos.com

In total 610 people died in accidents on the Dutch roads last year, the lowest figure since 2015, but the number of cyclists killed was the highest in 25 years, national statistics agency CBS said on Wednesday.

While the number of motorists and passengers killed in accidents fell, 229 cyclists died and one third of them were using an electric bike at the time, the CBS said.

Of the 610 victims, 453 were men and 157 women – the number of women dying in traffic accidents fell by 20%. In total, 44 motorbike drivers, 41 pedestrians, 33 moped users and 34 people using an electric wheelchair or other motorized mobility aid were killed.

Police and insurance company figures published earlier this month suggest there were nearly 80,700 accidents last year, a decline of 20% on 2019, as commuting in particular declined due to the coronavirus measures.

Nevertheless, the number of accident victims only fell by 11% to 19,000. The police figures put the number of deaths at 513.

Working from home and the lockdowns led to fewer cars on the roads but more cyclists and pedestrians – and they were out and about at different times than usual.

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