In 2013, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration initiated a five-year research programme called “BEST” (“Bedre Sikkerhet i Trafikken” , literally “Better Safety in Traffic”). The main purpose of this programme is to generate knowledge that may be of crucial importance when it comes to prioritising effective traffic safety measures in the future.
Since 1970, there has been a favourable trend when it comes to the number of fatalities or serious injuries resulting from traffic accidents, despite a heavy increase in traffic volume. Traffic safety efforts in Norway have been characterised by the implementation of various measures directed towards road users, vehicles and roads. A number of different actors have carried out these measures, which together have brought about the beneficial trend. The National Transport Plan (NTP) for the period 2014-2023 defines ambitious goals for traffic safety development. By 2024 the number of fatalities and seriously injured persons should not exceed 500. In order to achieve this goal, BEST will have to develop new measures, in addition to continue using those measures that have already proved to be effective.
As its principal area of priority, BEST has chosen to investigate the potential for reducing the number of fatalities and serious injuries, that is, to calculate and assess where or in what fields we can expect the greatest return on our traffic safety efforts in the years to come, and what type of measures this requires. In addition, the programme has selected two thematic fields on which to concentrate; how to reduce the number of speed-related accidents, and how to avoid that increased walking and cycling will lead to more accidents.