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Developments in the automotive industry and infrastructure have brought many advantages but also contributed to higher accident rates. There are several accident-contributing factors, the main being road user behaviour, road infrastructure, motor vehicles and traffic environment. The Slovenian police attempt to address all of these and reduce the possibility of accidents.

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Safety on Slovenian roads has greatly improved in the last decade or two and has met the goals from the Resolution on the National Road Traffic Safety Programme. Some credit for this favourable trend can be attributed to traffic police performing their tasks successfully. We are happy that we have become a credible partner both for citizens, who understand our work as taking care of safety, and other state institutions in this field.

The rapid and unstoppable development of traffic and changes in modern traffic flows bring new challenges and risks in this field that we will have to address in the future. For this purpose, we are strengthening traffic police units, introducing new methods and modern technical instruments to further increase the efficiency of police procedures and thus improve road traffic safety.

Traffic police officers ensure safety for all road users

In order to improve traffic safety, police officers monitor the safety situation on Slovenian roads (motorways and expressways and other state and local road networks) on a daily basis. They investigate traffic accidents and prevent and detect crime and minor offences that undermine road traffic safety.

The police pay particular attention to the most at-risk road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and riders of single-track motor vehicles, and engage in partnerships with other traffic safety enforcement agencies. Traffic police officers direct traffic (for example at crossroads or during major hold-ups), enforce speed limits and establish comprehensive supervision on main transport links. Supervision of transportation is especially important given the economic development and increase in the volume of road cargo traffic.

Traffic police officers also deal with protection at cycling, running and other events on roads.

A decreasing trend in the number of traffic casualties has continued in recent years, yet speeding, wrong-lane and wrong-way travel and disregard of the right of way unfortunately remain the main factors contributing to accidents with the most severe outcomes. These factors are not isolated from other factors, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs and other psychoactive substances. Monitoring these areas is thus of key importance for providing greater traffic safety.

The more visible, the safer

Traffic policing carries a number of work-related risks. High-visibility fluorescent yellow jackets provide for greater visibility and, consequently, safety of traffic police officers. In road policing, we use high-performance cars and motorcycles, specialised vehicles (for example equipped with the ProVida speed measuring system or cameras for monitoring cargo vehicles and bus drivers during driving), technical instruments (for example manual laser speedometers, laser scanners for inspecting traffic accident sites), and computerware.

Motorway police for a more rapid response

The motorway police, which was established in 2021, contribute to improved safety and smooth running of the traffic network and fewer infringements by road users on the Slovenian motorway network. The volume of traffic on motorways and expressways has increased significantly in recent years. This required the restructuring of police work, in particular because of the development of the motorway network, introduction of the toll system and the significant increase in transit traffic through Slovenia. The motorway police units can provide a speedier response to traffic accidents, crime incidents and traffic congestions and can deal with reckless driving and other traffic violations more efficiently.

Prevention in traffic pays off, especially in the long run

The results of preventive campaigns intended to raise public awareness about traffic safety and to improve traffic safety culture are difficult to measure, as the effect of such activities shows only in the long run. The proof that decades of our efforts have produced results and that it pays off to continue the hard work in the field of prevention together with all other partners in the country is the number of fatalities in traffic accidents. In the early years of independence, Slovenian roads claimed approximately 500 fatalities a year, yet this number has been reduced today to approximately 100 fatalities a year. Every life is precious, so we will continue to work to achieve the Vision Zero ambition when, hopefully, our roads will no longer claim death casualties.

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