Stop de Kindermoord Protests Led to NL Road Safety

Credit: London Cyhcling Campaign, reporting on Holland in the 1970s and the protests which transported Amsterdam & NL into a road sharing mecca.

450 Child Bike Ped Deaths per Year Drove Decades of Reforms in Holland

In the late 1960's & '70's, the Netherlands was far from the pedestrian and bicycling mecca it is today.   As documented by SNOV of NL in Road deaths in the Netherlands (2015), road deaths totaled well above 3200 per year at the peak of the traffic carnage (see multi-decadal charts, figures 5 & 6).  The first depicts annual fatalities by cause of crash. The second shows the age distribution of each year's road deaths.  In 1972 NL's population was 13.33 million; in 2015 its population was 16.96 M, or almost 1/3 more.

The bar graphs' time lines tell the story of incredible improvement in road safety, one that is all the more impressive because actual deaths and injuries from motor vehicle crashes fell dramatically despite population growth.

NL's Stop de Kindermoord movement can help put our contemporary challenges into perspective and demonstrates that activist mobilization is essential to achieve improved road policy, enforcement, infrastructure, and culture change.  Hopefully our work will be as successful but without such transitional suffering.  

Here is a sampling from the press & Wikipedia which recounts that struggle: 

Dutch campaigners explain why the Netherlands is now so cycle-friendly

The Guardian:  
Cycling the city - How Amsterdam became the bicycle capital of the world
In the 1960s, Dutch cities were increasingly in thrall to motorists, with the car seen as the transport of the future. It took the intolerable toll of child traffic deaths – and fierce activism – to turn Amsterdam into the cycling nirvana of today

The most authoritative report may be the one in Wikipedia titled Stop de Kindermoord, but, well, it's all in Dutch..., viz:

In this article, a Brit considers the NL experience, and compares it to UK now, especially with regard to school aged children:
A view from the cycle path:  Stop the Child Murder

Wikipedia:
Cycling in the Netherlands

Book "Cycling Cities" Examines Bicycling History in 14 European Cities

Cycling Cities: The European Experience
One Hundred Years of Policy and Practice            (May, 2016)
 
Editors: Ruth Oldenziel, Martin Emanuel, Adri Albert de la Bruhèze, Frank Veraart
Publisher: Foundation for the History of Technology and Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society.

 
Note:  This volume is not currently available in the USA, and it has proven difficult to order from the Netherlands.  But one may try using the website of Foundation for the History of Technology:  look for the order link on the home page.  It may prove necessary to enlist a traveller to bring a copy back to the States.   Lead editor for the volume, Professor Ruth Oldenziel of Einthoven University was the authority quoted in Russell Shorto's 2011 New York Times story which provided perhaps the first journalist report of the Dutch far hand reach method to appear in English in the U.S.A.  Three weeks later her words became the basis of the Nudge Blog post on the Dutch way which directly informed and inspired this Project.
 
 
Ruth Oldenziel, Martin Emanuel, Adri Albert de la Bruhèze, and Frank Veraart (Editors) Cycling Cities: The European Experience. One Hundred Years of Policy and Practice Published by Foundation for the History of Technology and LMU Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society 256 pages, richly illustrated and full color ISBN 978-90-73192-46-1 Price €37,50 (handling costs not included) Available via: www.cyclingcities.info