Press release: Our traffic culture has become more aggressive over the past ten years

9. april 2019

If you ask the parents of children aged 0 to 15, Danish traffic today is characterised by less resilience and more aggressive behaviour. A new survey of our traffic culture indicates a clear pattern of parents perceiving the traffic, into which they are to send their children, as far more aggressive than earlier and this is a cause for concern.

A 61-percent majority of parents surveyed feels that the motoring culture has taken a turn for the worse during the past ten years, whereas only 12 percent take the view that things are improving. The survey also indicates that this perceived increasingly aggressive behaviour in traffic impacts parents’ concern at their children moving about in traffic. All of 75 percent of parents express concern about their children moving about in road traffic and approximately two-thirds call for an improvement in road safety in Denmark.

Henriette Kjærholm Aagaard of Danske Fragtmænd who is a partner in the campaign Road Safety at Eye Level (Trafiksikkerhed i Øjenhøjde) has no doubt that parents’ increased concern must be taken seriously:

- We have to take it very seriously that parents perceive it as dangerous for their children to move about in traffic. For that reason, this year’s campaign focuses on strengthening the relationship between parents and their children on the question of our traffic culture. The survey shows that parents see themselves as key in their children developing good behaviour in traffic and it is, therefore, very important to strengthen this relationship.

Specifically, the campaign ’The Traffic Pledge’ (Trafikløftet) is based on parents and children making a “traffic pledge” that they will thoroughly discuss what moving about in traffic entails. An additional objective is for the campaign to provide the children with concrete skills which may increase their road safety. The children acquire these skills through a traffic quiz as well as short films on the platforms of Road Safety at Eye Level.

Besides the Traffic Pledge, the campaign also includes a school caravan which is now on its 17th year of traversing Denmark with the clear purpose of increasing the road safety of children.

-This spring, we will be visiting more than 50 schools throughout the country and teach children, amongst others, how to handle meeting a several-tonnes lorry in traffic, says Helle Hessel of Volvo Trucks who hopes that the campaign will also contribute to a general improvement in, and a boost of, our traffic culture.

The campaign is supported by a broad alliance of players in the transport industry who share a common goal of improving road safety. This year’s road safety alliance comprises: DTL, Volvo Trucks, Danske Fragtmænd, Energiselskabet OK, Codan and The Danish Child Accident Prevention Foundation (Børneulykkesfonden).

The Traffic Pledge is launched on 9 April with a kick-off event at the school Åvangsskolen in Rønne, Bornholm, at which the MP and former pupil Lea Wermelin (S) gives the opening speech.

*The survey was carried out by DMA Research A/S on behalf of Road Safety at Eye Level in February 2019.