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Lessons cities can learn from Oslo’s reduced road accident fatalities

4th May 2020 Print

Official statistics reveal that no children, pedestrians, or cyclists died on Oslo’s roads in 2019, only a single fatality occurred when a motorist hit a fence, according to Cities Today. However, through implementing strict traffic laws and adopting innovations in the car industry, the entire nation recorded 110 road accident deaths in 2019. 

This marks a fourfold decline in traffic fatalities since 1985 when road accidents claimed 482 lives. From Oslo’s achievements, there are lessons cities worldwide can borrow to reduce road traffic accidents and make roads safe for pedestrians, children, and cyclists.

Enforce Personal Injury Laws

Hiring a personal injury lawyer immediately after a car crash is essential. Attorneys provide professional advice to help road accident victims seek fair justice for injuries and damages caused by the negligence of another driver. While receiving compensation for economic and non-economic damages following an accident eases personal financial implications, it does not tame aggressive driving. 

Governing bodies should enforce personal injury laws to combat speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving, and violation of traffic. Implementing strict traffic laws like hefty fines, cancellation of driving licenses, and jail term can help enhance driving behaviours.

Limit the Use of Cars 

Banning cars from the city centre was the most significant step that city officials in Oslo took to mitigate road accidents. Increasing entry and parking fees in the square-mile city resulted in commuters choosing bikes over private cars. The government also replaced 700 parking lots with 37-mile bicycle lanes and pocket parks to discourage the use of vehicles. Cities around the world can implement this strategy to limit traffic congestion and improve road safety. Besides reducing road traffic fatalities, adopting cycling and walking creates clean towns because there are fewer emissions from automobiles.

Embrace Technology

Technologies, such as autonomous driving, car connectivity, telematics, artificial intelligence, and smart roads can significantly improve road safety. In Oslo, testing of self-driving cars as public transport on selected routes is already ongoing, as the city plans to have fifty autonomous public buses by the end of the year. By embracing advanced technologies on roadways, city governments can reduce crash rates and injury severity. 

First, governments should educate road users on how advanced technologies minimise road accidents. For instance, the automatic emergency braking system stops a car independently when it senses a potential crash, thus preventing a collision and injury severity. City officials should invest in the advanced mobile network and fast data transmission tech. This move will speed data collection and offer real-time traffic and weather updates to road users to ensure they drive safely.  

In many regions, the number of traffic accidents recorded is lower than the actual figures. Encouraging post-accident reporting helps identify risk factors and find practical solutions. It also helps government officials to create strict laws to tame aggressive drivers. For example, governments can restrict cars inside city centres. 

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