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Four-lane highway would lead to fewer deaths each year

Road construction in Estonia (photo is illustrative).
Road construction in Estonia (photo is illustrative). Source: Olev Kenk/ERR

The construction of Estonia's three main roads and the Tallinn ring road into four-lane roads would prevent dozens of traffic accidents with victims and fatalities per year, an analysis by the Transport Administration shows.

Tarmo Trei, head of the Estonian Infrastructure Construction Association, said the analysis shows that the four-lane main roads are not just a matter of convenience and fast connection, but they directly save the lives of people.

"Four-lane roads clearly reduce traffic accidents, the lowest indicator of which is on the very well solved 2+2 road sections of the Tallinn-Tartu road," Trei said.

"If the safety level of the three main roads and the 1+1 lane sections of the Tallinn ring road is improved so that it corresponds to the current safety level of the 2+2 lane sections of the Tallinn-Tartu road, the number of traffic accidents would decline by 25 and the number of injured and killed people would decrease by 48 every year," he added.

According to statistics, the most dangerous sections are the 1+1 lane sections of the Tallinn ring road and the Tallinn-Narva road.

"The analysis of the Transport Administration shows that the average number of traffic accidents per million car kilometers in 2015-2019 on the 1+1 lane sections of the Tallinn-Narva road is almost three and on the two-lane sections of the Tallinn ring road almost four times higher than on the four-lane sections of the Tallinn-Tartu road," Trei said, adding that the state does not currently even have a vision of what the four-lane Tallinn-Narva road route would look like, let alone a specific construction schedule.

The analysis by the Estonian Infrastructure Construction Association said the state has built a total of 97 kilometers or an average of 3.2 kilometers of four-lane roads per year in the 30 years since the restoration of independence.

Continuing at the same pace, the three main roads will be completed by 2127.

The association said the state intends to cut the financing of the roads under its administration by €113 million in 2022-2025 compared to the current road management plan.

According to an analysis by Teede Tehnokeskus, the development backlog of the road network will reach €2.159 billion by 2030, and the road repair backlog is already over €700 million.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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