Sunday, January 16

The road director: Norwegians have never been better drivers

We drive more than before. We drive better than before. And never have more people taken a certificate than in 2021. This is stated by road director Ingrid Dahl Hovland.

Many young people now pass the driving test on the first try. – I think that many people feel presentation anxiety. And that you want to be one of the first to stand because it’s cool, says Eva Torgersen (19). – You want to be independent and do the first things you can as an adult. Like taking the note and going to the Pole, she says.

– Oh god, my car is so dirty! This will not be nice, Eva Torgersen (19) smiles. She is a new driver and on her way home from work in Sandvika in one of the family’s cars.

According to the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, this applies not only to young people, when a record number now take certificates. Torgersen has this explanation for:

– The first thing I think of is that more children get it sponsored by parents, and that it has become a thing that “you have to have it”. Maybe you also feel a little pressure since everyone takes it! I also wanted to take it, since I got it as a gift. Besides, I’m tired of late buses.

The young people are not just many. They are also skilled.

Ingrid Dahl Hovland has a long career from Veivesenet and is currently top manager here. She states that the proportion of 18-20 year olds who pass the driving test is high. They are well prepared when they drive up, and they are good drivers.

The trend is confirmed by the Norwegian Traffic School Association (see further down in the article).

Thousands more take the note

When we round New Year 2021/22, Ingrid Dahl Hovland highlights several and surprising phenomena around Norwegian driving and car maintenance.

Never has Veivesenet had a better overview of just this.

Hovland’s overview shows that:

  • 149,957 Norwegians took the driving test in 2021. That is a record. In 2020 the number was 127,709, in 2019 139,397.
  • The increase applies to all types of certificates. Even driving up to tractor certificates increased from 2275 in 2020 to 2881 in 2021.
  • 10 percent more 18-year-olds took the plunge in 2021 than in 2020.
  • We are getting better and better drivers on the road. Not least this applies to young people between 18 and 20 years.
  • The proportion of car driving is increasing at the expense of public transport. An important explanation here is the pandemic and the travel restrictions.
  • Those who thought that people in the cities get rid of cars are wrong. There is a clear increase in the number of households that have two, three and four cars.

The explanations are many.

Speed ​​is a major cause of accidents. More electric cars are driven at lower speeds, says road director Ingrid Dahl Hovland. – Especially in winter. If you drive fast then, you quickly lose battery capacity. It is usually in the summer and early autumn, with bright days and dry roads, that accidents happen, says Hovland.

That is why they are on the driving test

According to Hovland, people today are very well prepared when they drive up.

– Why is it like that?

– The Norwegian driver training is long. Several agencies are engaged in traffic safety work. Attitudes are worked on. Exercising a lot is important. And then we have good sensors. This year, many of them have had several travel days to catch up on the driving test.

– There are also many who take a moped certificate. They quickly become good at reading the traffic picture. And they are motivated.

– But are today’s 18- and 19-year-olds more aware?

– I have no direct knowledge of that. But extra work has been done against the youngest group of drivers. The decline in the number of those who die in traffic is sharp, says Hovland.

Eva Torgersen has the following explanation of why the young people are well prepared:

– I think it is because you do not want to iron due to the long wait to take the drive-up. Many people do not want to spend too much money on multiple attempts.

The director of roads points to several striking phenomena around the turn of the year.

– I got the driver’s license as a gift. There are probably more children who get it sponsored by parents. It has become a thing that “you have to have it”, says Eva Torgersen. Here she is on her way home from work in Sandvika.

Many get three and four cars

Media coverage may give the impression that the proportion in cities that have a car is declining. It does not, says road director Ingrid Dahl Hovland.

The proportion is increasing. Several have acquired cars number two and three. Also four, like the family of Eva Torgersen.

This is documented by national surveys on travel habits.

– And probably has a bit to do with income and finances, Hovland thinks.

The fact that more people have a car is reflected in the traffic on the roads. During the pandemic, car transport has declined somewhat in the cities. But outside the cities it has increased. More than half of all travel now takes place by car. It has affected public transport.

– The proportion who travel by public transport has decreased from 11 to 8 percent. It is important to bring up public transport again. We work a lot with this and for zero growth in the cities, says Hovland.

She has two good transport news on the horizon: The proportion who go when they have to move from place to place has increased. She assumes this is an urban phenomenon.

And: Seen over time, we make fewer trips per. day.

The proportion of small vans is increasing, and more people are running on electricity

Back in 2009, according to the country’s updated travel habits survey, we made 3.3 trips every day. This applies to business and leisure travel.

By 2020, the number had dropped to 2.3 per. day.

What about the transport of goods?

– Especially in and out of the cities, we see that many more cars of up to 3.5 tons take care of this, says Hovland. And several of these cars run on electricity.

In 2020, 2,600 electric vans of up to 3.5 tonnes were sold. In 2021, the number was 5,300. That is more than double.

The transport also runs on shorter distances.

– 70 percent of all logistics is about journeys of less than 70 km. The traditional long-distance transport is currently at 30 percent, says Hovland.

Road Director Ingrid Dahl Hovland is looking forward to a lot of goods transport to the cities with smaller cars, where more and more people go on electricity.

Traffic schools confirm the trend

– Yes, we recognize ourselves in the information the road director provides here.

This is what Øyvind Årbogen, subject consultant at the Norwegian Traffic School Association, says.

He points out this as reasons why Norwegians have become better drivers:

  • The 0 vision, the goal every traffic instructor works towards.
  • Dedicated traffic instructors’ daily focus on attitude-creating work. This has increased gradually since 2005.
  • It includes solid personalized training in traffic and emphasis on motivation and willingness to make the right choices.
  • Collaboration between student, companion and traffic instructor.
  • Mass training at the right time.
  • Mandatory safety course.

All traffic instructors take a two-year university degree in teaching. Also it raises the quality of today’s students.

– Thus, these young people make safer choices in relation to what the individual situation requires, says Årbogen.

In contrast, he highlights men aged 45-55.

– The education today is of a completely different nature than when today’s parents took the plunge. Now we look forward to the young people, when they become parents themselves, becoming good role models, says Årbogen.

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