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Motorcyclists’ road safety in Norway is improving

So far this year there have been less motorcycle accidents in Norway: 50 percent fewer fatal motorcycle accidents versus 2022, even though the motorcycle population is increasing year by year.

The Norwegian motorcycle community joined forces in the National Forum for Motorcycle Safety to try to reduce the number of motorcycle accidents. Norwegian motorcyclists’ organisation NMCU – a member of FEMA – is an active participant in the National Forum. Norwegian website talked to members of the National Forum, looking for an explanation of this success.

Rider training is central in Norway. Good training as well as an active call for motorcyclists to ride modern and safe motorcycles. Further encouragement for refresher courses and rider development courses, as well as an increased focus on good rider experiences (and not speed) have probably also contributed to the reduction in motorcycle accidents this year. The effort is coordinated by the Norwegian Road Administration through the National Forum for Motorcycle Safety.

NMCU’s Odd Terje Døvik

“There are many indications that the motorcycle community has succeeded better than others with coordinated, attitude-creating work”, says Odd Terje Døvik, who is head of the central board of NMCU, the Norwegian Motorcycle Union. He represents close to 40,000 motorcyclists who are members of NMCU or follow the Facebook group Bikelife in Norway.

Odd Terje Døvik adds: “But to quote Aristotle: one swallow does not make a summer! This year the numbers are low. Last year they were high. Next year they may rise again. We are talking about small, statistical variations. The important thing is the development over time, the long lines. And there the picture is completely clear: the risk of being killed or seriously injured on motorbikes in Norway continues to decrease – as it has done for many years already.”

In August 2021 the Norwegian road administration established a ‘National Forum for Motorcycle Safety’. Furthermore, a national implementation plan for motorcycles, mopeds and ATVs 2022–2025 has been drawn up. The purpose of the National Forum for Motorcycle Safety is to bring together competent specialist communities. The Ministry of Transport has contributed NOK 4 million (approximately € 346,662) to support a number of training and attitude-building measures. “Attitude-creating work is a top priority in the work that takes place under the auspices of the National Forum for Motorcycle Safety. It is very important and good, says NMCU’s Odd Terje Døvik.

Ingrid Dahl Hovland from the Norwegian Road Administration

Ingrid Dahl Hovland is road director and is at the head of the team in the Norwegian Road Administration that contributes actively to fewer motorcycle accidents. The motorcycle industry praises her for good cooperation on measures that produce good results. Ingrid Dahl Hovland: “In a demanding summer for traffic safety, the motorcycle figures are a bright spot. While last year we had a total of 17 fatalities in the first seven months of the year, the number of fatal accidents involving motorbikes has almost halved this year with nine fatalities. Of course, nine is too many. The Norwegian Road Administration has invested a lot in cooperation with the important players around motorcycles and safety, as well as a focus on good driving techniques in recent years. We know that the entire motorcycle community is concerned with promoting the individual motorcyclists’ focus on rider development courses. We believe this work is very important. It is important to stand together to help ensure the good development we are now seeing.”

“Something very positive is happening in Norway,” says Per-Anton Vinje, chairman of the Motorcycle Importers Association, MCF. He continues: “I believe that what we are now seeing is the result of a huge effort with all the important actors who work together in the National Forum for Motorcycle Safety. Coordination is important and is probably one of the important reasons why we are now seeing a positive development. We have had a great focus on communication and attitude-building work. We have also focused on a few messages. It is riding experience that counts. Don’t speed. Furthermore: everyone should attend rider training. The motorcycle importers have also contributed to creating a separate media channel to help promote these important messages to the country’s more than 250,000 motorcyclists. This way we can reach our users directly with the important messages through a number of digital media and channels.”

Written by Wim Taal


Top photograph courtesy of MCF

This article is subject to FEMA’s copyright