Sweden’s traffic regulator increases ‘value’ of road safety

Sweden’s traffic regulator increases 'value' of road safety
File photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT
The theoretical value of safe roads has increased, says the Swedish Transport Administration, which regulates traffic in the Scandinavian country.

The ‘cost’ of a death caused by a road accident is now considered to be 40.5 million kronor (3.9 million euros), a substantial increase against a previous calculation of 24 million kronor (2.3 million euros), according to the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket).

The authority says the measure is used to assess the benefits of new safety initiatives against their costs.

As such, the figure does not relate to the actual cost of individual deaths caused by accidents, but reflects how much Swedes are prepared to pay to reduce the risk of road traffic accidents.

The calculation is based on a number of studies carried out at Örebro University.

“We have also studied which injuries are caused by traffic accidents, how health is affected and the duration of effects on health,” Örebro University economics professor Lars Hultkrantz said via a press release.

“The main difference is that earlier numbers are based on the willingness of individuals to pay for traffic safety as a tax-financed product. In the new studies, traffic safety is assumed to be something you pay for that improves your own safety. That’s why individual willingness to pay has become considerably greater,” Hultkrantz said.

READ ALSO: No new record-low for road deaths in Sweden

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