More accidents along A59

accident on the highway
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It is only a matter of time before there will be a crash barrier along the A59 near Den Bosch. So says traffic expert Paul van de Coevering. Now that two more accidents have happened in the infamous bend where 26-year old Sanne and 10-year old Hebe were killed, he says it is the obvious solution. “That bend is supposed to be safe according to the guidelines, but in practice it turns out not to be. So something must be done”.

The traffic expert said this on the radio programme WAKKER! on Monday morning. On Sunday evening, another driver lost control in the infamous bend along the A59. A man, woman and a dog could be rescued. A similar incident happened at the end of March. And in that same spot, the fatal accident killing Sanne and Hebe happened late last year.

‘Strange that people keep losing control of their cars here’

The Den Bosch city council already called for measures. But the Lower House voted against at the advice of the minister. After all, according to an analysis, the connecting curve is supposedly safe enough. Van de Coevering explains: “We could, of course, put crash barriers all over the Netherlands. But that costs money and is ultimately not effective,” he says.

Still, he thinks measures will eventually be taken here. “It’s not an unusual traffic situation. But it is unusual that people keep losing control here.” So, something will have to be done, he thinks.

Showing good will

“This is not a place where a crash barrier is vitally necessary,” traffic expert Ruud Hornman agrees. “But I can imagine that at such a site, looking at the number of accidents as well as public opinion, you decide to do it. To show that you are of good will.”

Such a guardrail, howver, won’t be in place right away tomorrow. “It will take some time before something like this is realised,” says Van de Coevering. But the need is clearly there, he says. “In the case of Sanne and Hebe, it was unclear what exactly had happened there. But now that more accidents have happened in that very spot, it’s probably not just down to the drivers. We will have to do something.”

Too many measures can lead to human error

“You want to put guide rail, or crash barrier, to prevent cars hitting large objects causing serious accidents,” Hornman explains. “And you want to prevent a car from getting onto the wrong lane because of a manoeuvring error, or from rolling off the road after making the first manoeuvring error. But none of that is really an issue at Empel junction.”

“Overall, I believe that taking too many measures to make a road safe in a place where it is not needed sometimes encourages the wrong behaviour,” Hornman believes. “You want to avoid that.”


Translated by: Anitha Sevugan

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