Minister Jet Bussemaker informed the Upper and Lower Houses on Thursday that the Lower House’s call to double the fine to 150 euro every half a month from January onwards cannot be enforced, according to Parool.
The minister says that the law must first be changed in order for DUO to access the travel information of the (former) students. Only then will it be possible to implement the fine increase for failing to cancel the so-called OV card.
The plan to increase the fine was suggested by the CDA and the VVD. Both feel it is the responsibility of the ‘highly educated’ students to cancel the travel card in time. D66 then demanded that this doubled sum only be applied to young people who consciously abuse their public transport card. As DUO is unable to access the travel information, it has become impossible for the organisation to determine who is abusing the card after graduation or who has simply forgot to cancel it.
Student organisations ISO and LSVb are glad about the postponement. ‘Minister Bussemaker has chosen the side of the students and is resisting assailing students with an increased public transport fine’, chairperson Jan Sinnige says.
The organisations want the public transport card to expire automatically, but according to Bussemaker, that is not an option. To this end, ISO and LSVb argue a case for better information provision to ensure that students do not fall victim to the measure. ‘It’s insane to double the fine if the information provision is no good. That’s why it’s a good thing that students will not be punished more than is already the case’, says Jarmo Berkhout of the LSVb.