New statistics released recently indicate that traffic deaths in Iceland from January to June have set a record this year. So far in 2007, there have been the least number of traffic deaths since 2001.
Experts put the improvement in figures down to the developments in infrastructure across the country. Roadworks have improved the quality of roads which may have contributed to safer driving conditions.
The rate of car ownership in Iceland is very high. Statistically, there are 580 cars per 1000 people, which is comparable to the numbers of cars in the United States. Since Reykjavik is a fairly well-spread out city compared to the number of people, traffic is not usually a problem.
The Road Traffic Directorate released an statement saying: “The goal of the road safety plan is that there will be no more fatal traffic accidents in Iceland than in countries where the situation is best. It is important to continue this development by respecting speed limits, using safety equipment in cars and using it right, and do everything we can to prevent driving under the influence of alcohol and other euphoric substances.”
Whether because of illegal substances, congested traffic or bad road signs, 2006 was declared by the Road Traffic Directorate as the worst year for road fatalities in the last 25 years of Iceland’s history.
Whatever steps the Directorate have taken seem to be working. There were no deaths on the roads at all in January and February. The year is off to a good start.