Kees Bot bids farewell after 43 years

Monday 19 April 2010
"It is safer on the roads now than in the past. Thanks to intensive speed monitoring and traffic control via matrix signs, major pile-ups are more or less a thing of a past. And roads are cleared much more quickly following an incident. Incident management massively improves through-flow." And Kees Bot should know. After 43 years in the recovery business at Autoschade Van Wijngaarden in Papendrecht, the 61 year-old recovery veteran took early retirement, on 1 April.

Kees Bot van Wijngaarden


From humorous situations through to serious accidents with fatalities, Kees Bot has seen it all. "But it's not something you ever get used to, particularly when children are involved. And you also always have to keep on your toes too. It is something I always point out to my younger colleagues: first consider your own safety. You have to know what you are doing, be able to assess situations, and respond rapidly. The goal is to clear the road as quickly as possible for other traffic, but in a safe way."

More professional

In the course of his long career, Bot has gradually seen recovery work become more professional. Work today is much faster and much safer than when he started, he concluded. "In the past, it sometimes took an hour before anything was done after an accident. Now the Incident Management Coordination Centrecalls up the recovery company straight away, and everyone is on the scene, quickly."

Fewer recoveries, more breakdown assistance

Every emergency service today works according to the safety guidelines. "The first to arrive at an incident first blocks off the affected lane or the hard shoulder with a fend-off vehicle, to prevent inattentive drivers from adding to the collision." But the increase in safety also has a 'downside'. "The number of recoveries is falling. Recovery companies are now above all involved in breakdown removals and breakdown assistance on behalf of the emergency assistance centres."

1934 Peugeot 301D Cabriolet

Kees Bot van Wijngaarden

Kees Bot will continue work as an instructor at STIMO. He is however above all looking forward to touring with the Peugeot classic owners club, tinkering with his own Peugeot 301D Cabrio from 1934 and home comforts with his wife Bertie, his two daughters and grandchild (and a second on the way). But he is sure to miss the kick of the recovery service. "The action, the sensation, that's why you become a recovery worker..."

Stichting Incident Management Nederland would like to thank Kees Bot for his years of dedication to the recovery profession.

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