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Only one person died on Oslo’s roads in 2019


The capital of Norway, Oslo recorded just one fatality as a result of road accidents across all age groups in 2019, when a driver smashed his car into a fence, according to official figures.

Oslo achieved this feat even as traffic deaths climbed in the opposite direction in Nairobi, Kenya. Some 337 people lost their lives in Nairobi alone over the same period.

For the first time ever, no children under the age of 16 died in traffic at all in Norway in the whole of 2019.

It’s not just Oslo that has managed to curb fatal crashes. The entire Scandinavian nation experienced only 110 traffic deaths last year out of a population of 5.3 million, a fourfold decline since 1985, when 482 people lost their lives on the road.

LOWEST NUMBER

Local newspaper Aftenposten reported the second lowest number of traffic deaths was in 2017, when three people died on Oslo’s roads.

Figures from the Norwegian Public Roads Administration showed in the past 50 years, the number of mortalities on the city’s roads have declined drastically, down from 41 deaths in 1975.

Norway recorded the lowest number of deaths in traffic in Europe in 2017, reporting 20 incidents per one million inhabitants.

Anders Hartmann, who works as an adviser at Oslo’s municipal authority department for environment and transport, said they were “making great progress, there is still a way to go to consistently keep deaths at zero for all road users.”

During the last five years, the city’s authorities enacted a series of dramatic steps meant to improve road safety.

It all started with replacing almost all of the city’s on-street parking with bike lanes and sidewalks in 2017. This led to a dramatic increase in the number of trips taken by bike in the city.

In addition, as of 2019, all vehicles were banned from the city’s center, a move that had been planned ever since 2015.

This level of road safety is unheard of for a city which numbers more than 673,000 residents.

OFFENCE

In Norway, if you drive after having one drink you will be jailed and heavily fined. For a first time offence, it is usually 3-4 weeks behind bars and you also lose your driver’s licence for a period of up to two years.

In comparison, at least one person dies every hour on Kenyan roads, according to a report by National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) released in October 2019.

According to NTSA’s statistics, as at December 19, a total of 3,409 road users had lost their lives since January 1, 2019. This was an increase of 13 from the 3, 396 fatalities recorded by the agency as at December 17, 2019.

In December alone, 195 fatalities were recorded. However, this was a reduction from the 342 deaths recorded at the same time last year.

In Kenya, pedestrians continue to lead in fatalities with 1, 323 already losing their lives last year. They are followed by motorcyclists where 691 people died.

Passengers’ death toll stands at 677 while drivers come in fourth at 325 followed closely by motorcycle (pillion) passengers at 320.