Car driving risk management in Norway

As a rare exception, this is an article outside offshore and marine safety. A former PhD student, Willy Røed, has written an interesting article in Stavanger Aftenblad about risk management for car driving in Norway. His main message is that the speed limit should be reduced to 70 km/h on all roads without lane separation, because the likelyhood of death increases rapidly over 70 km/h. If you are driving faster, you trust that your fellow drivers are reliable and fault free, if you want to avoid fatal crashes.

We agree that ideally, 70 km/h should be the speed limit on all roads without lane separation. We also think that if this was adopted, it would be a strong incentive to increase the speed of installation of lane separation fences, because most car drivers would not tolerate such slow driving. The speed limit on roads with lane separation may be substantially higher.

But one should not be too optimistic about the Ministry of Transport’s ability to implement such radical solutions. Experience shows that safety has a tendency to loose in this Ministry’s policy-making. If Norway had had a separate Ministry of safety and emergency preparedness, this and many other things might have been quite different.

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