Russ accidents at record low

2018 saw the fewest vehicular accidents involving Russ busses since their advent

russ accidents

Photo: OleKj / Wikimedia Commons
A “Russebil” from Narvik, Norway, decorated to celebrate the class of 1981.

Pieter Wijnen
Norway Today

A record-low 41 accidents involving Russ (graduating high school seniors) vehicles were registered last year, compared with 50 the previous year, injury statistics from the insurance company If shows. In the early years of the millennium, there were over 150 accidents involving Russ cars and Russ buses before May 17 each year, on average. The peak year was 2004, with a staggering 174 reported accidents.

“The decline in the number of accidents in recent years is mainly due to the fact that the Russ themselves are more concerned with the safety of their cars and buses. Additionally, the police and traffic stations of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration have done good, preventive work,” Information Manager of If Insurance, Sigmund Clementz, notes.

An increasing trend is that there is a large proportion of so-called Wander-Russ, ie, students who are not co-owners of a car or bus.

“The number of vehicles is more than halved in 10 years in Asker and Bærum—an area many probably associate with Russ buses. We note, however, that Russ buses in recent years have appeared in many places around the country—in areas, towns and cities that previously only had a tradition of Russ cars,” Clementz continues.

On a nationwide basis, the relative decline is much bigger with respect to cars than buses.

There is no total number of injuries involving Russ, but of those who were insured by If, only two were injured in traffic accidents last year. In 2017, there were no injuries at all. By comparison, in 2002, the number of traffic accidents causing personal injury involving Russ was 16.

“The personal injuries vary greatly with the number of serious traffic accidents. A serious accident means many injuries. This is because many people travel in the same vehicle. Therefore, continued safety work aimed at the Russ is very important, especially raising awareness regarding the use of seat belts,” the Information Manager emphasizes.

Together with the Norwegian Personal Injury Association (LTN), the insurance company If donates NOK 1,000 to Russ who will pay a driver for two nights on desired dates in May. Between 70 and 100 apply each year, and are thus granted a sponsored driver. This year’s figures regarding the scheme are not available yet.

“This is a contribution to raising awareness of how important it is to have a sober driver at one’s disposal when partying,” Clementz concludes.

This article was originally published on Norway Today.

This article originally appeared in the May 17, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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