Dutch drivers offered incentives to stick to speed limit

09.43 | 29 May 2018 |

A city in the Netherlands is offering motorists financial incentives to drive within the speed limit. (The Guardian)

Earlier this month, a ‘speed-meter money box’ was installed in Helmond, North Brabant, on a stretch of road which has a problem with speeding drivers.

However, instead of fining those exceeding the 30km/h limit, the speed sensor rewards those who keep to the limit with cash for local projects within the community.

Each vehicle that observes the speed limit adds €0.10 (9p) to the monetary figure displayed, to a maximum of half a Euro per vehicle each day.

Catelijne Thomassen, spokeswoman for North Brabant province, told Guardian Cities the speedometer achieved a fundraising target of €500 to upgrade a local playing field well before the end of the three-week trial.

The mobile speedometer will now be used across the region during 2018 and 2019, with individual cities left to decide the fundraising target and the community project to benefit from money raised.

Ms Thomassen said the speedometer – which was devised and owned by the province’s traffic safety team – is intended to remind motorists to watch their speed and, in doing so, benefit their community.

Catelijne Thomassen said: “The strength of the mobile version is that it’s only there for a few weeks, so people don’t get used to it. Every time they pass by, we hope that they are aware of the risk they take by speeding.

“Most of these people are local drivers, they know they are contributing to the district, in this case the playing field. It feels really local.”

Sander Hermsen, a researcher of behaviour change and design at the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, told Guardian Cities that the idea had potential to snap drivers out of bad habits.

Sander Hermsen said: “Most people don’t consciously speed, they don’t want to endanger other people – it’s just the road sort of invites you to go fast. Others do it too, so you go with the flow and before you know it you’re going 45km/h.

“What you need is some kind of trigger that breaks you out of your routine.”


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