Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Thursday is the Europe-wide road safety day themed “European Day Without A Road Death.”

“The theme is well-founded, as some 70 people die in road traffic in Europe every day, while hundreds are severely injured. In Finland, an average of 240 people lose their lives on the roads every year. Every single one of these cases is too much,” says Chief Superintendent of the National Police Board Maria Hoikkala in a statement.

According to the police, every road user can contribute to traffic safety with their choices. These include the use of safety equipment, driving speed adjusted to driving conditions, concentrating on driving and sobriety on the road.

“In densely populated areas the risk of dying on the road is almost negligible when you are driving sober in accordance with the speed limit, wearing a seat belt and observing the other traffic,” Hoikkala says.

These guidelines seem self-evident, but according to the police, many people still tend to forget them, and the police see themselves having a crucial role in terms of supervision and as an educator.

The European Day Without a Road Death is now organized for the fourth time by the European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL) across 30 member countries, in cooperation with the European Commission and the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC).

Last year the theme day was successful in Finland: there were no road deaths. However, 12 accidents resulting in personal injury did occur that day, with 14 people injured.

“Even though the day without fatalities is held only once a year, the theme of the day—nobody dies on the roads—is important and worth aiming for every single day of the year,” Hoikkala concludes.