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In the coming period, municipalities, provinces and water boards will have new opportunities to make their roads safer with money from the government.

At a time when the number of road casualties is rising alarmingly, the Dutch government has decided to release significant financial resources in an effort to make the country's roads safer. With a commitment of 500 million euros until 2030, under the heading of the Road Safety Investment Incentive, this initiative promises to significantly improve road safety by offering municipalities, provinces and water boards more flexibility and financing for necessary adjustments.

Minister Mark Harbers of Infrastructure and Water Management recently announced that the rules for obtaining this financial support will be relaxed. This change is mainly aimed at increasing the maximum amount that can be requested in one go, a change that will mainly benefit smaller municipalities. This allows them to tackle larger-scale projects, such as the construction of roundabouts or bicycle underpasses, which are essential for increasing road safety.

The reason for this large-scale financial injection lies in the gloomy statistics on the number of road casualties. With 745 fatalities in 2022, the need to intervene is clearer than ever. Research shows that many of these accidents occur within built-up areas, an area for which additional resources are now being made available to increase safety.

Another important aspect of the announced changes is the adjustment in the calculation of the estimated costs for implementing the measures. Previously, this was calculated based on the current price level, which did not always correspond to the actual costs at the time of execution. This led to financial shortages in local governments. Therefore, a more realistic estimate of the costs will now be made, giving governments a better idea of ​​the financial support they can expect.

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Mark Harbers - VVD

“The number of road casualties is rising again: in 2022 there were 745 fatalities, which is more than two people per day. That's way too much. Research shows that many accidents happen in built-up areas. That is why we have money available from the government to also make these roads safer. I think it is important to listen to what governments need to spend this money as effectively as possible, which is why we are going to make the rules more flexible.”

Furthermore, the administrative burden for governments is reduced. Where they previously had to report in detail about expenditure, the focus will now be on the realization of the measures themselves. This means that governments that manage their budgets more efficiently can directly benefit from this.

The impact of this financial boost is not only expected in the short term. The Foundation for Scientific Research on Road Safety (SWOV) has estimated that the implementation of all measures up to 2030 could prevent almost 600 road casualties. This underlines the potential of the investments to not only save lives, but also deliver economic benefits, with a return of 1,5 times the investment.

With the announcement of this new approach to the financing and implementation of road safety measures, the Netherlands is taking an important step towards reducing the number of road casualties and improving road safety for all users.

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