On the same evening as I'd watched some rather frightening BBC footage about a road rage incident in the UK which resulted in nothing more than the relatively minor charge of "careless driving", Mark Wagenbuur sent me this video showing what happened last year to a driver in 's-Hertogenbosch who had been showing off on the road and caused a crash.
The local newspaper was very much against the driver. They describe him as a "pirate" of the roads, and also as a "hufter". That's quite strong language for a newspaper, about as strong as "arsehole" in English. He was arrested and lost his driving license temporarily. He would have lost it permanently had he not passed an expensive exam to retain it. It was in the news for months.
Dutch roads are very safe overall, and extremely safe for cycling and, as Mark points out in the video, they are getting safer: "There were 339 injuries and 7 casualties in 2000. The figures dropped sharply every year to 133 injuries and just 1 road death in 2009. Only 44 of these injured people needed medical treatment." The figures are for all road users in the city, which has a population of about 140000. The attitude of road users has a lot to do with it, even in places such as on the video where the road layouts are rather old-fashioned.
I've previously covered other stories from Den Bosch, several of which show how the city is building better infrastructure for cyclists, the intention being both to increase safety further and to promote a higher modal share for cycling.
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Experience for yourself how policy and infrastructure in Assen and Groningen have led to the high cycling modal share in this area:
If you like this blog please support us so we can continue. We sell quality bicycle components and organize cycling holidays:
A cyclist in a cycling family living in the capital of the cycling province of the world's greatest cycling country.
I was born in the UK, lived for over 8 years in New Zealand and have lived in the Netherlands since 2007.
I organise cycling infrastructure study tours, run an online bicycle shop, arrange cycling holidays and write a popular blog about cycling.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org