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Danish traffic deaths approach record low

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Danish traffic deaths approach record low
Even if 2014 doesn't set the all-time record, it will still be the third straight year with less than 200 traffic deaths. Photo: Martin Sylvest Andersen/Scanpix
08:57 CET+01:00
2014 may end with the fewest number of traffic fatalities in over 80 years thanks to dedicated campaigns to road safety and the dangers of drinking and driving.
Through December 21st, 154 people had been killed in traffic accidents this year. If that number doesn’t exceed 167, it will mark the lowest number of traffic deaths since statistics began being collected in 1930. 
 
Traffic officials predict however that 2014’s final number will hit 170, which would put it just above the 167 traffic fatalities recorded in 2012. But even if 2014 doesn’t set a record, officials said that education campaigns about road safety have been a success. 
 
“The figures show that the efforts have paid off. I also think that the level [of traffic deaths] will remain low,” Marianne Foldberg Steffensen of the Danish Road Directorate (Vejdirektoratet) told Politiken. 
 
Klaus Bondam, the director of the Danish Cyclists’ Federation (Cyklistforbundet), agreed. 
 
“We have really debated both traffic behaviour and conduct and I am fully convinced that it has helped,” he told Politiken. 
 
Campaigns about the dangers of drinking and driving have been particularly successful and the penalties for drunk driving have also been increased. 
 
As recently as 2008, annual traffic fatalities were above 400. The numbers have been a steady decline since then, with the exception of 2013, when traffic deaths went up to 191 from the previous year’s 167. Traffic deaths have not exceeded 200 since 2011. 
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