What is the difference between administrative sanctions and punitive procedures?


Administrative sanctions are imposed for minor offences. Sanctions are based on the Administrative Traffic Enforcement Act (Dutch abbreviation: WAHV), the so-called ‘Mulder Act’. In case of camera enforcement, the registration holder is held accountable for offences, whether he was driving or not. Examples of administrative sanction offences are exceeding the speed limit by less than 30km/hour on non-motorways or less than 40 km/hour on motorways, and red light negation. Sanction processing does not take repeat offending into account.

Punitive sanctions are imposed in case of more serious traffic violations, such as excessive speeding, drink driving, causing a road injury crash, and driving without a driving licence. A punitive procedures does take repeat offending into account, which generally leads to higher penalties. What constitutes a traffic offence is laid down in the Road Traffic Act and the Dutch Penal Code. A road user suspected of a traffic violation may be summoned to a district or police court. Traffic offences are also often dealt with by the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service itself. For punitive sanction offences, police reports are filed.

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Traffic enforcement

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