Earlier in the day, a police spokesman said he did not agree with the issuing of the fine. “If people are victims of a blockade, they do not have to be the victims again.”
Activist farmers occupied the Azelo junction near Almelo for hours on Thursday. This led to long traffic jams in both directions on the A35 and A1 motorways. Twente officers were instructed to exercise restraint towards people behind the blockade. “Make sure that safety is maintained and that people are not at risk. If it is not possible to end the blockade, you have to look at how you can ensure that other road users are not endangered, for example by leading them away,” said the spokeswoman.
According to the Twente police, the fines were imposed by two motorcycle officers from Rotterdam from the National Unit, who were nearby and offered to help. They had not been given the instruction to exercise restraint. The motorcycle officers concerned have now spoken to the Twente team chief and they understand the context, according to the spokesperson.
A year without a car?
One of the two ticketed people, Ruud Leliefeld from Borne, wrote on Facebook that he was fined for violation of Article 5 of the Road Traffic Act. The police could not confirm this.
Leliefeld was driving on the road with two young children when traffic came to a standstill. The situation would continue until 8 p.m. With a young baby and a child who needs to go to bed, that’s not ideal. When other drivers began to turn: “There must have been 50, maybe a hundred. In the end, we made the choice to follow these people.”
But Ruud and his family were unlucky and were therefore fined: “It would be submitted to the judge. I understood that the maximum fine is 8,700 euros and a one-year driving ban!” He didn’t get angry, but he did get frustrated: “I would think a year without a car would go a long way. That uncertainty is perhaps the worst,” he wrote.
VIDEO: Road safety expert Collin Bell explains what to do when approaching a farmer’s blockade.
Article 5 states that it is prohibited to cause danger on the road. Anyone who violates that rule could face up to six months in prison and a fine of up to 9,000 euros. In addition, a person may not be allowed to drive a vehicle for up to two years.