Norway opens motorcycle-safe highway

Vision Zero movement aims for zero road fatalities

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, May. 21, 2008
Norwegian authorities have recently opened a stretch of highway designed with the safety of motorcyclists in mind.

The Vision Zero Motorcycle Road is a nine-mile stretch of RV 32, a highway in Telemark County, southwest of Oslo, Norway.

Telemark Road Authority engineers Jan Petter Lyng and Bjørn R. Kirste designed the highway with features recommended by motorcyclists including: crash barriers fitted with a sub-rail, safely placed signposts, and more forgiving terrain running along the side of the road. The total estimated cost for these modifications is just under US$1 million.

Hans Petter Strifeldt, president of the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Assocations officially opened the road in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 7, calling it a milestone for motorcycle safety.

The motorcyclist-friendly road is a part of the ambitious Vision Zero campaign to achieve zero deaths and zero serious injuries due to motor accidents. Originating in Sweden, Vision Zero is a policy to design roads with safety in mind.

Critics of Vision Zero say that the policy favors cars but is anti-motorcycle due to the higher level of risk that bikers face. One of the main purposes of the Vision Zero Motorcycle Road is to show that the Vision Zero philosophy includes all motorists including those on two wheels.