The safety of Finnish highways has improved in the last ten years, but there is still room for improvement. The aim is to halve the number of fatalities and serious injuries in road traffic between 2020 and 2030. The EU’s long-term objective is “Vision Zero”, i.e. reducing road deaths to close to zero by 2050.
In 2019, the total number of fatalities in road traffic was 160, of which the majority occurred on major roads. Both traffic volumes and accident rates are the highest on the main road network. In particular, reducing the number of head-on collisions on them will be a challenge for the coming years.
The Road Safety Review 2020 (pdf, in Finnish) comprises information about improvements to road safety during the last ten years.
Road safety work and how it is managed
The Government has steered the improvement of road traffic through in-principle decisions. The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom steers the administrative branch, as well as the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency’s measures to improve road safety.
The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency influences road safety through the maintenance and improvement of traffic arteries together with the regional ELY Centres. In addition, there is a lot of cooperation in the field of safety at the national and regional level. Continuous safety work with other authorities and parties covers, inter alia, transport system planning, land use planning, mobility control, traffic control and traffic information.
There is increasing international steering of improvements to road safety. The EU has imposed strict road safety improvement targets on the Member States. In addition, there are quality requirements for the safety of road connections in international connections (the TEN road network) and road tunnels in particular. The authority overseeing these matters in Finland is the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom.