Monday, July 14, 2014

Road safety in Sweden

I've read recently about Sweden's great success in improving road safety. Fewer people die on Sweden's roads than any other country in the world.

This success is partly through many changes to road construction and legislation. But more central is something much more Swedish: the willingness to set one's personal needs aside for the collective good. A number of road changes have increased cost for drivers (through congestion charges) or slowed down traffic through road barriers (farthinders, as they're called in Swedish).

All of this has been done with far less grumbling than one might expect here in the USA. The number of lives saved, and the collective will to accomplish this, is a real source of pride in Sweden. A number of other countries and cities are looking at the Swedish road program, including New York.

Translating the Swedish way to New York road traffic sounds like a huge task! It will be interesting to see if this is successful.

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