Twelve dead in holiday traffic

At the end of a five-day weekend, with Ascension and Sweden's national day, traffic accident stats are looking dismal.

At least twelve people have died in traffic over the past five days.

Four people died in a single accident on the night between Sunday and Monday, when their car collided with a tree and caught fire.

Several severe motorcycle accidents also occurred this weekend, with four fatalities.

Two men in their fifties died on Thursday. One of the men died after a car crashed into a motorcycle motorcade outside of Arvika in central Sweden. The other accident occurred when a car and three motorcycles were in a head-on collision in Växjö, in the south of Sweden. Four others were injured, one gravely.

A 50 year-old woman died on a motocross bike in Dalarna on Friday night. The regional newspaper Dalarnas Tidningar writes that the woman died after driving straight into a tree.

On Sunday night a motorcycle driver was killed after colliding with a moose, just outside Gothenburg.

“This is a very high number of deaths in such a short period,” Claes Tingvall, traffic safety officer at the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket), said to news agency TT.

He notes that many of the accidents seem connected with the holidays, that none have involved families travelling in cars, that high speeds seem to have been a factor and that circumstances have been unusual.

“These accidents show up around this time of the year, in connection with these kinds of holiday weekends.”

“It has nothing to do with regular traffic,” he said. “This is unusual traffic.”

At least six of the deceased were sitting in cars travelling at high speeds, that caught on fire. Tingvall emphasized that he wasn’t referring to these specific accidents, but said that in general high speeds are often involved when today’s relatively safe cars go up in flames.

“It generally requires a great deal of energy, in other words high speed, to get a car to catch fire. Severe deformations are also necessary,” he said.

Tingvall explains this year’s increase in traffic deaths, saying that last year had an extremely low total, partly due to the severe winter weather and lower traffic volumes.

He believes more will be killed in traffic accidents in 2011 than in 2010.

“That’s practically to be expected.”

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Traffic warnings issued in France for Pentecost holiday weekend

Traffic authorities have warned of busy roads as people in France head off for the long Pentecost weekend.

Traffic warnings issued in France for Pentecost holiday weekend
Many French people will be heading off for a long weekend until Monday, which marks the Christian celebration of Pentecost (Pentecôte). Photo: Ludovic MARIN / AFP

Roads will be busy across most of the country on Friday as many people in France take advantage of the public holiday on Monday 24th, which marks the Christian celebration of Pentecost (Pentecôte).

READ ALSO: Pentecost: The French public holiday where people work for free

Bison Futé, the government-run website that monitors traffic levels in France, has put most of the country on orange alert (third highest) on Friday for departures, except for the greater Paris Île-de-France region and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, which were on red alert (second highest).

READ ALSO: What changes in France on Wednesday as phase 2 of reopening begins?

Photo: Bison Futé

On Saturday the whole country will also be on orange alert for departures except for the Île-de-France region, which will be on red alert. And the same will be the case on Monday for returns.

Photo: Bison Futé

Rail disruption for trains to Marseille and from Paris to Toulouse

With SCNF carrying out works at the Saint-Charles station in Marseille, there is expected to be significant disruption in trains arriving in the southern French city from Saturday 22nd and Monday 24th of May.

This includes the TER trains between Marseille and Aix-en-Provence, Avignon via Arles, Narbonne and Lyon; the Intercités between Marseille and Bordeaux (a bus service will be available on Sunday 23rd of May) and the TGV Inoui and Ouigo trains.

The Intercité line from Paris to Toulouse will also be severely disrupted due to building works. There will be no trains running on Sunday, and will restart progressively from Monday.

From Wednesday May 19th, the curfew has been pushed back from 7pm to 9pm. So if you are travelling between 9pm and 6am, you need to fill the latest version of the attestation, which can be found on the TousAntiCovid app.