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Danish road fatalities lower than at anytime before pandemic

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Danish road fatalities lower than at anytime before pandemic
2022's figure for road deaths in Denmark was the second-lowest since the 1930s. File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Last year saw the lowest number of deaths resulting from road traffic accidents than in any year prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Some 154 people lost their lives in traffic accidents in Denmark last year. The figure is the second-lowest since records began in the 1930s, the Danish Road Directorate (Vejdirektoratet) said in a report.

The only year with a lower total was 2021, when traffic volumes were lower due to the pandemic, the roads agency said.

Fewer injuries and deaths occurred particularly with people in private vehicles in 2022 compared to preceding years.

Last year saw 68 deaths and 1,088 injuries to people in private vehicles due to road accidents. The average for the prior five years was 77 and 1,214 respectively.

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Lower speeds on the road are the likely reason for the improvements in accident statistics, according to the departmental manager with the Danish Road Directorate, Marianne Foldberg Steffensen.

“We can see that the average speed on our roads has fallen and that has a very big effect on how many accidents there are, and how serious they are when they do happen. So that’s a very big factor,” Steffensen said to news wire Ritzau.

High fuel prices and police campaigns aimed at speeding motorists are also of significance in the lower number road deaths, she said.

READ ALSO: 'Irresponsible and dangerous': The verdict on Danish driving habits

The age group 15-24 years remains over-represented in accident statistics. But young people are involved in fewer drink-driving accidents than they were in the past, according to the agency’s findings. This also has an effect on the overall statistics.

Even though the number of road deaths fell in 2022 to 154, that is still 154 too many, Steffensen stressed.

“It’s obvious that when we sit here and are proud of having 154 deaths, it’s not because we think 154 deaths is an acceptable level. We’d prefer to have nobody getting killed on the roads,” she said.

“But this is really a huge task. There must continue to be a focus on keeping speed down generally, train good drivers and talk about traffic safety,” she said.

Some 700 million kroner has been set aside for spending on road safety between now and 2035. That is with an expectation that the spending will result in fewer deaths and injuries on Denmark’s roads in the coming years.

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