Driving in Denmark: Police probe more ‘falling objects’ from motorway bridges

South Jutland police are investigating another incident in which a driver's car was hit by an unspecified object that fell from a motorway bridge.

Driving in Denmark: Police probe more 'falling objects' from motorway bridges
File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Police are inquiring as to whether a crime may be behind the incident, which left a crack on the car’s windscreen, local media Horsens Folkeblad reports.

Recent years have seen a string of incidents in which rocks have been thrown from motorway bridges into oncoming traffic. Once such act resulted in the death of a German woman who was a passenger in a vehicle which was hit. The case, which is being treated as murder, is yet to be solved.

The latest episode occurred when a woman from Svendborg on the island of Funen drove under a bridge on the Danish motorway at around 9:40am on Thursday.

Her car received a crack to the windscreen around three centimetres in length, but the woman was able to keep the vehicle and control and continue driving. She reported the incident shortly afterwards, inspector Lars Peter Madsen of South East Jutland Police confirmed to Horsens Folkeblad.

“We are taking this quite seriously because it is potentially very dangerous to be hit by a rock on the motorway,” Madsen said.

The inspector added he hoped for potential witnesses who may have seen something on the bridge, which is on the Bredalsvej road near Hedensted, to come forward.

On Wednesday this week, a similar incident saw a car hit by an unidentified object on the E45 motorway in South Jutland, close to the exit for Christiansfeld.

In that instance, the car’s sunroof was smashed but nobody was injured.

Police subsequently closed the motorway in order to search an extended area, but this did not turn up any further information.

READ ALSO: Danish police look for clues after latest motorway bridge attack

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Denmark signals support for zero-emissions zones in cities

A new proposal presented by the government on Wednesday could give local authorities the ability to designate zero-emissions zones in cities.

Denmark signals support for zero-emissions zones in cities
Parking spaces at a charging point in Aalborg. The sign reads "reserved for electric cars". File photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

The zones would only allow access to vehicles without combustion engines, such as electric cars.

Wednesday’s government proposal states that there is already demand at municipalities for zero-emissions zones in set parts of cities in order to reduce air and noise pollution.

The government said it wants to accommodate that demand while still enabling people to live, move around and shop in the zones.

“The government will therefore look closely at whether affected residents and businesses in the area have realistic alternatives and that there would be time to meet the criteria,” the government writes in the proposal.

“A framework must also be set to ensure access for necessary use of industrial vehicles, including delivery of goods,” it adds.

A long period of transition would be required in municipalities that decide to take up the option of establishing the zones, according to interest groups for the automotive industry.

Goods vehicles could be amongst those to face the largest obstacles in such a situation, as the range on zero emissions goods vehicles on the market is limited, according to the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI).

“That means it would be difficult to ensure supply to cities where the requirement for zero emissions might be effective,” DI’s CEO Lars Sandahl Sørensen said via written comment.

The association for car importers in Denmark, De Danske Bilimportører, said that the zones would be difficult to implement without a long phasing-in.

“The proposal for zero emissions zones in particular is very far reaching and can hardly be implemented without a long phasing in period, as the range of electric and hydrogen cars with sufficient range should be greater,” the organization’s CEO Mads Rørvig said in a statement.

FDM, an association for motorists in Denmark, went further in its criticism of the plan.

“It’s far too early and disproportionate to have zero-emissions zones that would exclude 98 percent of Danish motorists,” FDM senior consultant Dennis Lange said in a written comment.

“This is a symbolic policy which will have no measurable effect on pollution,” he added.

READ ALSO: Lower Danish taxes backed for home electric car charging