Those travelling between Denmark and Sweden via the Øresund Bridge better get used to watching their speed.
Øresundsbro Konsortiet, the company that operates the bridge, and the Danish Traffic Safety Council (Rådet For Sikker Trafik) are calling for a new form of speed controls due to the “extremely high speeds” of some motorists.
Copenhagen Police spent two months monitoring speeds on the bridge, which gained international fame thanks to the gritty crime show ‘The Bridge’, and found that roughly 11,000 motorists out of the 200,000 that made the crossing drove faster than 125 km/h, which is well over the posted speed limits of 110 km/h on the island of Peberholm and 90 km/h in the underground tunnel.
One motorist was measured driving 203 km/h in the tunnel – more than twice the speed limit – while another was caught driving 209 km/h on Peberholm.
“We do a lot to ensure that it is safe to drive over the Øresund Bridge, but unfortunately we experience that some motorists do not respect the speed limits on the connection and that leads to dangerous situations for themselves and others,” Ulla Eilersen, the head of security at Øresundsbro Konsortiet, the Danish-Swedish company that operates and maintains the connection.
“We’ve had several accidents caused by the high speeds and customer surveys have shown us that many of our steady commuters feel very unsafe because of the motorists who zoom by without consideration for others,” Eilersen added.
In an attempt to get motorists to slow down, Øresundsbro Konsortiet and the Traffic Safety Council are calling for a new form of speed control that would scan a vehicle’s licence plate when it enters one end of the connection and again when it leaves from the other side. The time between the two scans would then be calculated to determine the motorists’ average speed.
“This is an obvious solution to use on the Øresund Bridge, as it will have consequences for all of those motorists who drive at extremely high and dangerous speeds,” Mogen Kjærgaard Møller of the Traffic Safety Council said.
The Øresund Bridge (or Öresund Bridge in Swedish) opened in July 2000 and connects Copenhagen and Malmö. Roughly 7.5 million vehicles crossed the bridge in 2017.