Safety improving, but people are still the problem
The day of remembrance was marked around Iceland; including in Reykjavík, where the transport minister and the president participated in a minute’s silence, in front of seven flames representing the seven lives lost on Iceland’s roads this year.
President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson says the day of remembrance is important, given how many drivers need reminding of road safety: “I find it totally crazy, for example, when driving Álftanesvegur, that there are people who see the need to overtake on some small stretch of road that means they are maybe half a minute, or less than that, quicker to the traffic lights where you always need to wait anyway.”
Minister for transport and local government Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson added: “Clearly the roads are getting better and the cars better, and other things too, but we can’t get around the fact that the biggest affecting factor is humans themselves and if we are not aware that we bear the biggest responsibility for traffic culture, then we can also not avoid the most accidents. So, a day like this is important.”
Traffic safety is of enormous importance to Sigurður Ingi not only because he is transport minister, but also because he lost both of his parents in a traffic accident.
“Yes, I did, and bringing it up—it was at a similar time of year, though quite a few years ago—it still hurts.”