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Not A Single Norwegian Child Died From Traffic Accidents In 2019

Amy Pilkington 4 Jan 2020

There is a lot of science that goes into traffic safety. From street signs and licensing laws, to public education initiatives, to crumple zones and high-tech safety features, they all combine to keep us as safe as possible on the roads.

But we all understand that no matter how much you plan for prevention, accidents happen. People are going to get hurt in traffic accidents and all we can do is try to limit the number as much as possible.

But a bit of news out of Norway is proving that precautions can make a difference.

In 2019, not one person under the age of 16 died in a traffic accident.

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That's an incredible statistic!

In the entire country, there were only 110 deaths due to traffic. That includes drivers and passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians.

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Norway has a population of 5.328 million people.

Unsplash | Michael Jin

To put that in perspective, the most recent statistics (2018) from the World Health Organization found that the US had an average of 12.4 deaths per 100,000 people.

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Even with such incredible numbers, Norway isn't considering the job done yet.

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The continuing decrease in fatalities are all part of the country's Vision Zero initiative.

It launched in 2002, with a huge plan to rework Norway's traffic infrastructure in hopes of eventually dropping the number of fatalities to zero.

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Vision Zero is a complicated project, but it's clearly working.

It includes measures such as lower speed limits, expanded bike networks, stronger restrictions to traffic around schools, and even barring cars from entire areas of cities.

For example, in early 2019 Oslo banned cars from the square-mile city center and increased parking fees around the core. They also removed 700 parking spaces.

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There was only one fatality in the entire city in 2019, and it was a driver who hit a fence.

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Some may argue that such measures would only cause people to stop visiting the core, but by also investing in biking and public transportation options, the city ensured that it remained cheap and easy to reach your destination even if it meant parking farther away.

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Seeing the success of Vision Zero, many other countries are beginning to take notes.

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Even if another country can't realistically adopt all of the strategies, we can all learn from them and make similar changes that fit our community's needs.

Meanwhile, Norway continues to push for that zero-death goal.

"Behind every accident there is a tragedy that affects family, friends, colleagues and communities," said the country's Road Director Ingrid Dahl Hovland.

h/t: NRK, The Independent

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