2015: no child traffic deaths

As 2015 draws to an end, Norway is on pace to have its safest ever year on the roads

The Local

The Norwegian Council for Road Safety (Trygg Trafikk / TT) has announced that at the outset of December, not a single Norwegian child under the age of ten had been killed in a traffic accident this year.

If that holds throughout the rest of the month, the council said 2015 would be the first year ever in which no kids died in traffic.

“In 1970, nearly 100 children died on Norwegian roadways, and many were seriously injured. We can see that seatbelts, car seats, lower speeds, safer cars, better roads, and more knowledge saves lives,” TT director Jan Johansen said in a press release.

The council said that Norwegian parents have gotten much better at ensuring that their kids are buckled up in the back seat and in keeping children in rear-facing car seats until the age of four.

Norway’s introduction of mandatory child vehicle restraint systems received much of the credit for the drastic cut in child deaths, and TT said that more pedestrian and cycle paths, plus the increased use of bike helmets, have also contributed to better traffic mortality figures.

Not only could 2015 go down as the first year ever in which not a single child died in traffic, it is also on pace to have the fewest overall traffic deaths ever recorded. Through the end of November, 113 Norwegians had died in traffic accidents. By comparison, 147 died last year and the previous low was set in 2012 when 145 died.

“Norwegians have become much better in traffic. People have better attitudes; we have gotten better roads and safer vehicles than we had 10 to 15 years ago. I would also point out that there is no reason to jump for joy. So far this year, 113 people have been killed. That is 113 too many,” Johansen told Dagbladet.

This article was originally published on The Local.

It also appeared in the Dec. 11, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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