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Norway’s road safety for motorcyclists keeps improving

Norwegian motorcyclists’ association NMCU keeps working on accident reduction by influencing how roads are built and maintained, and by improving each individual motorcyclist’s skills. And all this without motorcyclists being hit by unreasonable or unnecessary restrictions.

Odd Terje Dovik, NMCU’s president says: “NMCU has motorcyclists’ road safety high on the agenda, with the facilitation of rider development courses to prevent accidents and work to reduce the extent of damage from accidents that still occur. NMCU works with fact-based communication about motorcycle accidents, so that on this basis one can work with improvements that actually have an effect without motorcyclists being hit by unreasonable or unnecessary restrictions.”

In Norway the risk of riding a motorcycle has been significantly reduced in recent years. In 1980, 4.8% of the motorcycle population was involved in a traffic accident with personal injury. In 2010 the share was reduced to 0.34% and in 2020 the share was down to 0.26%.

It is easy to understand that a motorcyclist has a greater risk of being injured in a traffic accident than, for example, a driver. Without a protective body around it, a collision that only causes a dent in the screen of a car could result in personal injury to a motorcyclist. This does not mean that motorcyclists have a higher risk of accidents, but that we have a higher risk of injury. In fact, motorcyclists are on average less involved in accidents than the average road user. However, motorcyclists are an unprotected group of road users and in addition, a motorcycle is a vehicle that requires a high level of driving skills.

NMCU knows that motorcycling, to a certain extent, attracts people with extreme behaviour and these form a significant part of the accident picture. It is the task of the police to weed these away from the roads. NMCU can also not take responsibility for each individual motorcyclist or for motorcyclists as a group.

NMCU nevertheless works long-term and purposefully to help all motorcyclists to a safer everyday life on the road both by influencing how roads are built and maintained, and by contributing to increased competence in each individual motorcyclist. This work is freely available to everyone, both motorcyclists and other road users. NMCU’s expertise and publications are, for example, used extensively in traffic schools throughout the Nordic region.

According to NMCU – a member of FEMA – the attitudes of motorcyclists are sometimes questioned in the media. It is not uncommon for a lack of safety awareness to be used as an explanation for the number of motorcyclists killed and injured. However, these statements are often made without the use of fact-based analysis and are often marked by assumptions.

Source: NMCU

Top photograph by Hans Vestre

This article is subject to FEMA’s copyright