traffic jam, queue [noun] [de file, de files]
Dutch traffic jams are a daily source of great annoyance. Every year the total amount of cars queueing up increases significantly.
– "Er zijn vandaag veel files door het slechte weer."
("There are a lot of traffic jams today due to the bad weather.")
– "Er staat een ongebruikelijk file op de N44 door een ongeval."
("There’s an unusual traffic jam at the N44 road due to an accident." Literally: "There stands a traffic jam…")
– "Heb jij wel eens geflirt in de file met andere bestuurders?"
("Have you ever flirted in a traffic jam with other drivers?")
– "Bij de H&M staan er altijd enorme files bij de kassa’s, echt irritant!"
("At H&M, there are always huge queues in front of the cash desks, really annoying!" The use of the word "file" here is to exaggerate. The normal Dutch word for "queue" is "rij".)
– "Bestuurder": driver.
– "Ongeval": accident.
– "Ongeluk": accident, bad luck.
Reducing traffic and traffic jams is always a popular subject for political campaigning. Right wing parties typically favour a solution with more road surface, whereas left wing parties typically favour a solution with better means of public transportation and higher road taxes. In this context, the possible introduction of "rekeningrijden" (literally "bill driving") is a popular theme. Here the idea is to register road use in certain areas during certain times for which you are "billed" later. Contrary to toll roads where you usually pay to finance the road, this policy is to deter you from using the car at that time or place. It has not been introduced yet.
Check out the current traffic conditions at the ANWB site: the General Dutch Association for Automobile Drivers, since 1883.
The word "file" appeared earlier in DWOTD 99. Bijna.