Traffic warnings posted as Easter exodus began

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Police and traffic officials were warning motorists to exercise patience and drive defensively as the annual Easter exodus from Norway’s major cities began on Friday. The day before the beginning of the annual Easter holiday week is always one of the year’s busiest.

“Folks are now very ready for the Easter holidays, to visit friends and family and maybe take a trip to their hytter (holiday cabins),” Anne-Katrine Årøen of the traffic safety organization Trygg Trafikk told state broadcaster NRK. “Many people are stressing to finish up at work, pack what they need and hit the road. Herein lies a big stress factor.”

Fresh figures from Finans Norge, the national association for banks and insurance companies, show that rear-end collisions soared 94 percent on the Friday heading into the Easter holidays last year, compared to the Friday a week earlier. Single-car accidents were up 55 percent.

“Stressed drivers increase the risk of accidents,” Årøen said. “Therefore we are asking everyone who is heading into the Easter traffic to relax into holiday mode and take it easy. You won’t get to your destination any quicker if you’re stressing.”

Norwegian police were adding patrols on most major highways and setting up controls for speed and drunk driving, according to police chief Runar Karlsen. Police were also bracing for another rush of heavy traffic on Wednesday, just before four days of official holidays set in over the Easter weekend. staff