Police should reintroduce the alcohol trap to deal with liquor drivers. This is more effective than increasing penalties, says the government’s chief road safety adviser.
Today in this paper, the National Scientific Institute for Highway Safety Research (NSIHR) calls for the widespread reintroduction of alcohol screenings. “Incidents of alcohol use are reduced by 17 percent when alcohol checks are used regularly,” explains traffic expert Saskia de Crane on the basis of several scientific studies. “In Australia, where the police really put a lot of people aside, the number of alcohol-related accidents dropped by 22 percent.”
According to the government’s chief road safety adviser, enforcement of the law on alcohol on the roads has “decreased significantly” in recent years. De Crane: Well, the police point out that they no longer do widespread alcohol testing, because they are out of date within fifteen minutes via social media. “If friends text each other to warn, you have the information exactly where you need it.”
De Craen argues that law enforcement will encourage bar-goers to properly arrange their transportation next time. “Traffic enforcement is not just about catching fraudsters, but rather giving potential fraudsters a clue: I could get caught.”
In the first 10 months of this year, more people were issued tickets for drunk driving than in all of 2021. As of November, the police have issued more than 36,000 fines. All last year: 31,600. Police say they don’t do alcohol tests more often than before. According to Soff, the fact that traffic enforcement has decreased is “a plausible explanation for the increase” in the number of people who drive drunk.
If friends start texting each other to warn you, you’ll have the information exactly where you need it
The VVD recently argued for a tougher approach to notorious drunk drivers. Now a driver’s license can be withdrawn for a maximum of ten years. VVD wants to make this set last a lifetime. “But this is not the right way to prevent accidents,” the traffic expert avoids this suggestion. For notoriously drunk drivers, increasing penalties doesn’t have much of an impact, Swoof says. “Outside you see that even the most severe punishment, imprisonment, has little effect.” On Tuesday, the House of Representatives will debate road safety.
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