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Map: These are the most dangerous road crossings in Copenhagen

A preliminary report by Copenhagen Municipality has highlighted the increasing frequency of injury-causing traffic accidents on the Danish capital’s roads.

Map: These are the most dangerous road crossings in Copenhagen
Photo: Niels Ahlmann Olesen/Ritzau Scanpix

The report is based on police figures accounting traffic injuries and fatalities.

It should be noted that not all traffic accidents are recorded by police, and that figures taken from the healthcare system would likely reflect a higher number of accidents by a factor of 10, according to the report.

The Copenhagen Municipality report, Trafiksikkerhedsredegørelse 2019 – which is currently a preliminary report – found that the total number of fatalities and serious injuries increased from 177 in 2017 to 231 in 2018.

That is a 30 percent increase over the space of one year and is also the highest number since 2008, according to the municipality report.

The 231 recorded fatalities and serious injuries include 7 losses of life. 6 of the 7 killed were cyclists and of these, 3 were so-called ‘right-turn accidents’ (højresvingsulykker), or accidents involving a collision between a right-turning vehicle and a passing bicycle on the vehicle’s nearside. The bicycle has right of way in such situations.

60 percent of all those killed or seriously injured in Copenhagen Municipality traffic in 2018 were cyclists, while 25 percent were pedestrians.

Preliminary figures from 2019 show that the high level of serious accidents has continued from 2018, according to the report.

A target of zero fatalities and serious injuries in the city’s traffic by 2025 will be “very difficult” to achieve given the current rate of accidents, the municipality writes in the report.

In a report on the challenges faced by Copenhagen Municipality in improving road safety, newspaper Politiken highlights 10 road crossings within the municipal area in which 5 or more accidents resulting in serious injury or death were recorded by police between 2014-2018.

They are:

  • Ågade/Jagtvej: 11 accidents
  • Tagensvej/Jagtvej: 10 accidents (to be rebuilt)
  • Gyldenløvesgade/Nr. Farimagsgade: 9 accidents
  • Jyllingevej/Jernbane Allé: 8 accidents
  • Tuborgvej/Tagensvej: 7 accidents – now rebuilt
  • Nr. Voldgade/Gothersgade: 6 accidents
  • Frederikssundsvej/Åkandevej: 6 accidents
  • Bremerholm/Havnegade: 6 accidents
  • Christmas Møllers Plads/Amagerbrogade: 6 accidents – partially rebuilt
  • H.C. Andersens Blvd./Tietgensgade: 6 accidents

An additional junction, Jyllingevej/Ålekistevej, is named in the municipality’s report as being an accident hotspot, with 23 accidents including 4 resulting in personal injury since 2014. This junction is also included in the map below.

Politiken reports that the municipal council has is in support of reducing speed limits from 40 kilometres per hour to 30 kilometres per hour on suitable roads in an effort to cut accident figures. Police remain opposed to such action, which would require parliamentary backing, however. That is because it would reduce traffic flow, the newspaper writes.

The municipal report outlines 47 specific measures that could be taken which, the report argues, would improve road safety. These are divided into three categories: reducing right-turn-related accidents; traffic safety for children and young people; and other traffic safety initiatives.

Although improvements – as identified by Politiken in the list above – are being made in some places, the municipality is constrained by limits set by parliament termed anlægsloft. Broadly, this means that spending on city fixtures and fittings must not exceed limitations placed on specific areas – such as bicycle lanes or junction renovation.

“It’s a big problem that [the government-set limit] does not allow for (more) bicycle lanes to be built. Many projects are seeing delays,” Copenhagen Municipality’s elected head of urban planning [Danish: Teknik- og miljøborgmester, ed.] Ninna Hedeager told Politiken.

READ ALSO: 'No consideration for anybody except themselves': The damning verdict on Danish driving

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DRIVING

How and when should I exchange my foreign driving licence for a Danish one?

Foreign residents of Denmark are required to exchange their foreign driving licence for a Danish one after moving to Denmark.

How and when should I exchange my foreign driving licence for a Danish one?

The rules for when a foreign driving licence must be exchanged for a Danish licence depend on the country which issued the original licence.

You must change your foreign licence for a Danish one within 90 days of moving to the country (meaning the date on which you arrived in Denmark with the purpose of staying).

At the time of writing, the 90-day deadline is extended to 180 days due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

EU and EEA countries

If you have a driving licence issued in the EU or EEA (Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein), you can use it in Denmark. You can freely exchange the licence for a Danish licence without having to take an additional driving test.

Australia (Capital Territory only), Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Russia, Switzerland and Ukraine

Driving licences issued in the above countries and territories can also be exchanged for Danish licences without taking any additional test.

In addition to your existing licence, you must also submit a medical declaration from your doctor and a signed written declaration that you have not been disqualified from driving within the last five years. Your licence must not be restricted or issued under special conditions.

It should be noted that the above only applies for category B driving licences. This is the category for driving a normal car. For other types of category such as motorcycle or HGV licences, it is necessary to take an additional test in order to exchange your foreign licence for a Danish one.

Singapore, United States, Canada, Australia, Chile, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, New Zealand, Isle of Man (UK) and Israel

For the above countries and territories, the same conditions apply as for the non-EU/EEA countries listed further above.

Additionally, you must also submit a declaration that you have two years’ effective (reel) in Danish driving experience. In other words, you must have driven regular for at least two years and not had a driving licence for five years or more without having done any driving.

United Kingdom after Brexit

The UK does not neatly fit into any of the above categories because the applicable rules depend on whether your licence was issued before or after the UK left the EU.

In short, you can exchange your licence in line with EU rules if it was issued before Brexit, but UK licences issued after January 1st 2021 are treated as “third country” driving licences.

The rules for exchanging UK driving licences in Denmark following Brexit are set out in more detail in this article.

Other foreign driving licences

Driving licences issued in all other countries can be used to drive in Denmark for up to 90 days after you are registered as living in the country.

Danish rules permit the use of foreign driving licences printed in English (or French) with Latin letters, or if it is accompanied by an English, French or Danish translation. If your licence does not meet this, you may be required to obtain an international licence before driving in Denmark.

You will be required to take what is termed in Danish a kontrollerende køreprøve (“control driving test”) to be able to exchange your foreign licence for a Danish one.

What is a ‘control driving test’?

The Danish Road Traffic Authority website states that a control driving test or kontrollerende køreprøve consists of a theory and practical element. Driving lessons are not mandatory for the test, unlike with the regular driving test given to new drivers.

Drivers taking the test must supply their own vehicle and applications are made via their home municipality.

Where do I go to exchange my licence?

The application form for exchanging to a Danish driving license can be found on the Local Government Denmark (KL) website.

The form must be handed in at a municipal Borgerservice (“Citizens’ Service”). Check the website of your local municipality to find out where the Borgerservice is located in your area. You may be required to make an appointment (or it might be better to do so to avoid a queue).

You’ll need to bring your existing licence, passport and a photo (see here for the photo specifications) when you hand in your licence for exchange. You’ll also need your Danish residence permit.

More information on the application process can be found on the Danish citizen and residents’ platform Borger.dk.

A fee of 280 kroner is charged to exchange a foreign driving licence for a Danish one.

Sources: Færdselsstyrelsen, Borger.dk

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