The Audit of Finland (VTV, for its acronym in Finnish) issued a report in 2011 with the aim to determine two issues: whether there had been progress in road safety and if it had been promoted economically and efficiently.

The cost of deaths and injuries in traffic is between 4 and 5 million euros per year. According to official statistics, traffic accidents in the Nordic country caused 354 deaths in 2011; while 7,931 people were injured.

Taking into account the number of population in terms of accidents, the death rate in Finland is 0.006%. By comparison, in our country they were recorded 7,517 deaths in traffic accidents in the same year, but the demographics of Argentina totaling more than 41 million people, equivalent to 0.018% of accidents throughout the Republic.

Now if the traffic deaths in Finland are compared with the EU, the country chaired by Sauli Niinistö is ranked 11 in the intermediate group. On this point it emphasized the need to audit by stating that "more information about why Finland is behind European countries considered top performers in road safety and what would be the most cost-effective ways to improve the situation."

First the Good News

Statistical data show that there was a "significant" long-term decline in deaths and accidents. This situation, if it is encouraging, involves huge costs in terms of promoting road safety.

Now, the Bad

The Finnish government allocates 200 million euros a year for the maintenance of road works and traffic accident prevention. However according to the Watchdog, "no information is available on the overall economic impact" or on the "efficiency of the work of road safety.”

Another negative point is that data on injuries, serious injuries, suicides or suspected suicides "are not clearly established in the statistics."

To strengthen the prevention of accidents, the government included in 2010 the Reform of the Administration of Transportation to transfer a number of tasks a "higher level" security in transit to the Road Safety Agency of Finland (TRAFI) so the agency works with the issues that have the bigger impact. 

However, the VTV determined that "the reorganization of the actors is yet to be properly examined," and concluded that "changes should only be introduced once carefully assessed".