In 1987 the Dutch Government attempted to intensify road safety policy and launched the Stimulation Plan 'Actie-25%', directed at municipalities. Central to the philosophy behind the Plan is the thought that a financial bonus would stimulate municipalities to broaden and enhance their road safety policy. Every participating municipality received an initial grant. The Plan period covered 1987, 1988 and 1989. At the end of every year the number of road casualties had to be 5% less than the reference, in 1988 10% and in 1989 15%. If this drop was achieved the municipality received an achievement bonus. An evaluation study was carried out in which two central questions were at issue: "Did 'Actie-25%' lead to fewer road accident casualties?" and "In which ways did the organisation of 'Actie-25%' lead to extra (municipal) activities and could 'Actie-25%' be optimised?". Two surveys were conducted amongst all Dutch municipalities to examine their reaction. A case-evaluation of 10 municipalities was conducted as well. A feasibility study was carried out to assess whether the Plan intervention can be linked to the accident pattern. The response of the municipalities was extremely good: 98% of all municipalities had registered. With regard to scope, form and content of road safety policy, improvements could be noted. But municipalities were considerably slower in implementing policy than was expected. It is suggested that municipalities have difficulty in planning and conducting innovative road safety measures. The accident feasibility study indicates that we shall be unable to make scientifically valid statements about the effects on accidents. Based on the evaluation study it is recommended to continue with the Stimulation Plan for a longer period of time and in a slightly different manner. Furthermore success and failure factors for municipal road safety policy are derived from this study: political will, proper organisation and knowledge. © 1991.
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