The road death risk is relatively low in Norway. One reason for this is that most road users behave well in traffic. Most drivers use seatbelts, few are intoxicated and most drivers respect speed limits, or break them only marginally. On the other hand, when we study severe road accidents, there is an over-representation of drivers who drive too fast, do not use seatbelts, or who drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Many accidents are also linked to the health situation of the road users.
The Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) has a “vision zero”, meaning a vision of no deaths and no serious injuries caused by road traffic accidents.
In the light of vision zero, NPRA continues to work for better safety on the roads. In addition to the efforts to improve both roads and vehicles, it is necessary to continue to influence road users to act more safely. The challenge is to reach those population groups who are at highest risk: those who drive too fast, who do not use seatbelts, who drive under the influence of drugs, and all those who generally behave unsafely in traffic.
The most significant questions then are: Do we know enough about these groups? Do we know who they are and how to reach them?
This project is an attempt to learn more about a number of high risk groups. In that respect, a number of groups have been identified that will be the subject of further studies. These are:
- Young drivers, especially men
- Old drivers
- Intoxicated drivers
The project runs for four years five tasks have been identified. These are:
- Identification of sub-groups at particularly high risk
- Exposure and risk for high risk groups
- Risk development for young drivers
- Accident risk of immigrants
- Accident involvement of the elderly.
The result is a report informing about possible risks of different groups of drivers and supporting the appropriate measures for the lowering or elimination of these risks. The groups of drivers are as follows:
- Young drivers
- Elderly drivers
- Drug addicted
E.g. for the group of motorcyclists following measures were suggested:
- Monitoring and control - monitoring and control can help to lower the average speed of motorcyclists.
- Light motorcycles are running consistently riskier than other groups of motorcycles. Tailored control activities of the police and road authorities against these groups will therefore be more effective than random checks.
- Stricter restrictions on granting of driving license for light motorcycle may be a relevant measure. The EU regulations provide two possibilities:
- to introduce a form of graduated licensing for 16-17 year olds on light motorcycle or
- introducing 18+ light motorcycles.
- Financial incentives linked to ownership and use of certain types of motorcycles can also be a relevant measure. Economic measures to limit the use of particularly dangerous vehicles may therefore have a large potential to affect traffic safety.
- Training, information and social factors - competence through training shows good safety effects, with the exception of voluntary training (skills training).
- "Softer" measures concerning information and social influence can also have an effect, but this much depends on how the measures drawn up.
Monitoring of the different groups of drivers and proposing of measures enhancing their safety.
Measures enhancing safety.