The transport authorities prioritize their resources in ensuring highest possible level of transport safety. Safety plans for all transport sectors are an element in achieving this. It is also important to carefully maintain and operate transportation infrastructure in the interest of traffic safety.
The authorities’ targets for traffic safety are as follows:
First, the number of traffic fatalities per 100,000 residents should at least be at par or lower than the numbers in countries with the best record. Second, the number of traffic fatalities and injuries should decline, on average, by at least 5% per year through 2022. During the period 2009-2017, from 14 to 19 people died in traffic accidents each year, apart from 2010, when there were eight fatalities, and 2014, when there were four.
The traffic safety plan is a part of Iceland’s transport policy plan. It is reviewed annually where safety measures are revised and new ones added as budgetary allocations permit. The plan is administered by the Ministry of Transport and Local Government and implemented in cooperation with the Iceland Road Administration, the Icelandic Transport Authority and the National Police Commissioner.
Measures to address traffic safety fall into four categories:
- Policeing, education programs, and information campaigns
- Road system
- Risk analysis (accident black spot analysis) and road improvements
- Motor vehicles
- Vehicle registration and vehicle monitoring
- Legislation and research
- Statistical collection and analysis
- Legislative impoprovements
The authorities allocate approximately ISK 400 million annually to projects and tasks in these areas, including policeing, advertising and education, safety measures at accident scenes and road environment, research, and regular surveys of driving behaviour.
Monitoring of driving speeds is the most extensive task involving travellers. It consists primarily of speed monitoring cameras that have been installed in numerous locations along the nationwide highway network, including tunnels. Education, presentations, and advertisements for travellers are an important means of enhancing traffic safety. Particular emphasis is placed on traffic safety education in primary schools and on teaching foreign drivers about road conditions in Iceland.
Among provisions relating to the road system is the elimination of so-called accident black spots through measures taken to increase safety in areas where traffic accidents occur frequently. Such measures include lengthening and improving guardrails, improving hazardous road environment areas, marking one-lane bridges, and building rest areas along the national highway network.