Bus passengers in Norway are being advised to buckle their seatbelts, especially this week when state authorities have warned they’ll be launching nationwide controls. Those found without buckled seatbelts can be hit with a fine of NOK 1,500 (USD 192).
Thousands have already experienced surprise inspections, like those on board a Nordfjordekspressen bus in Sogn og Fjordane on Monday. Jarl Wåge told state broadcaster NRK that he was among them, but already had his belt buckled and avoided the heavy fine.
“They (the inspectors) boarded very quickly,” Wåge told NRK, noting how they used both the front and rear doors. He said he regularly uses a seatbelt, though, because it make him feel more secure.
The inspections are due to run all week, with state highway authorities reminding passengers that nine people were killed in bus accidents between 2014 and 2016 in Norway. “You can be very vulnerable riding on a bus without seatbelts,” inspector Reidun Tryggestad told NRK. Her name is well-suited for her job: It means “safe place” in Norwegian.