Dutch city to reward motorists who avoid rush hour

March 24th, 2009 - 1:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Brussels, March 24 (Xinhua) A Dutch city is planning to offer bonuses next year to encourage people to avoid driving during rush hours, Radio Netherlands has reported.
In an experiment to reduce the number of traffic jams around the central Dutch city of Utrecht, 1,000 people will be eligible for a bonus of up to 1,200 euros (about $1,630) if they stay away from motorways during rush hours.

Participants’ cars will be installed with electronic devices, which will check how often the driver is using the motorways in the Utrecht area. The lower the use, the higher the

bonus will be.

The premium is paid for by the road user’s employer, who in turn is granted a tax reduction and a subsidy by the authorities.

Businesses and local authorities in Utrecht, the fourth largest city in the Netherlands

with a population of 300,000, have agreed on the trial to keep drivers off the major motorways. Traffic jams are generally considered harmful to the economy and the environment.

Three years ago similar experiments were carried out between The Hague, the Netherlands’ third largest city, and its satellite town of Zoetermeer. The result is not bad - car use in rush hour was reduced by half.

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