Top politician forced to be a pedestrian

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One of Norway’s most high-profile, veteran politicians, Carl I Hagen, won’t be allowed to drive for the next six months. Police seized his driver’s license after Hagen hit two pedestrians in a crosswalk three weeks ago, and they’ve decided to hang onto it.

Police have seized Carl I Hagen's driver's license, and he won't get it back for another six months. PHOTO: Fremskrittspartiet

That means Hagen must be a pedestrian himself, as part of his punishment for what police determined was reckless driving. Hagen himself has said he wasn’t driving more than the speed limit allowed and tests proved he hadn’t been drinking.

Nonetheless he ran into a couple crossing a busy street in Oslo’s Frogner district at around 6:30pm on New Year’s Eve. Hagen and his wife Eli were on their way to a party, and Hagen claims he simply didn’t see the couple in the evening darkness.

He apologized profusely after the accident, which sent both pedestrians to the hospital. Hagen visited them there shortly after the accident, gave them flowers and also offered to pay any expenses they may have had as a result of the accident.

Hagen was also fined NOK 10,000 (around USD 167) for his driving infraction.

“But what hurts the most is losing my license,” Hagen told website Nettavisen last week. “Now Eli will have to be the chauffeur, when we don’t take the tram or bus.”

Or walk. Hagen is the retired head of the conservative Progress Party and vice president of the Norwegian Parliament, but remains a member of the city council in Oslo.

Views and News staff