The report is based on police figures accounting traffic injuries and fatalities.
It should be noted that not all traffic accidents are recorded by police, and that figures taken from the healthcare system would likely reflect a higher number of accidents by a factor of 10, according to the report.
The Copenhagen Municipality report, Trafiksikkerhedsredegørelse 2019 – which is currently a preliminary report – found that the total number of fatalities and serious injuries increased from 177 in 2017 to 231 in 2018.
That is a 30 percent increase over the space of one year and is also the highest number since 2008, according to the municipality report.
The 231 recorded fatalities and serious injuries include 7 losses of life. 6 of the 7 killed were cyclists and of these, 3 were so-called ‘right-turn accidents’ (højresvingsulykker), or accidents involving a collision between a right-turning vehicle and a passing bicycle on the vehicle’s nearside. The bicycle has right of way in such situations.
60 percent of all those killed or seriously injured in Copenhagen Municipality traffic in 2018 were cyclists, while 25 percent were pedestrians.
Preliminary figures from 2019 show that the high level of serious accidents has continued from 2018, according to the report.
A target of zero fatalities and serious injuries in the city’s traffic by 2025 will be “very difficult” to achieve given the current rate of accidents, the municipality writes in the report.
In a report on the challenges faced by Copenhagen Municipality in improving road safety, newspaper Politiken highlights 10 road crossings within the municipal area in which 5 or more accidents resulting in serious injury or death were recorded by police between 2014-2018.
- Ågade/Jagtvej: 11 accidents
- Tagensvej/Jagtvej: 10 accidents (to be rebuilt)
- Gyldenløvesgade/Nr. Farimagsgade: 9 accidents
- Jyllingevej/Jernbane Allé: 8 accidents
- Tuborgvej/Tagensvej: 7 accidents – now rebuilt
- Nr. Voldgade/Gothersgade: 6 accidents
- Frederikssundsvej/Åkandevej: 6 accidents
- Bremerholm/Havnegade: 6 accidents
- Christmas Møllers Plads/Amagerbrogade: 6 accidents – partially rebuilt
- H.C. Andersens Blvd./Tietgensgade: 6 accidents
An additional junction, Jyllingevej/Ålekistevej, is named in the municipality’s report as being an accident hotspot, with 23 accidents including 4 resulting in personal injury since 2014. This junction is also included in the map below.
Politiken reports that the municipal council has is in support of reducing speed limits from 40 kilometres per hour to 30 kilometres per hour on suitable roads in an effort to cut accident figures. Police remain opposed to such action, which would require parliamentary backing, however. That is because it would reduce traffic flow, the newspaper writes.
The municipal report outlines 47 specific measures that could be taken which, the report argues, would improve road safety. These are divided into three categories: reducing right-turn-related accidents; traffic safety for children and young people; and other traffic safety initiatives.
Although improvements – as identified by Politiken in the list above – are being made in some places, the municipality is constrained by limits set by parliament termed anlægsloft. Broadly, this means that spending on city fixtures and fittings must not exceed limitations placed on specific areas – such as bicycle lanes or junction renovation.
“It’s a big problem that [the government-set limit] does not allow for (more) bicycle lanes to be built. Many projects are seeing delays,” Copenhagen Municipality’s elected head of urban planning [Danish: Teknik- og miljøborgmester, ed.] Ninna Hedeager told Politiken.