Ex-Progress Party chief loses licence after crash

Former Progress Party leader Carl Ivar Hagen has had his driving licence revoked after he ran over two people in his car at a pedestrian crossing in Oslo on New Year’s Eve.

Ex-Progress Party chief loses licence after crash
Photo: Morten Holm/Scanpix (File)

The 67-year-old ex-party chief, regarded as one of Norway’s most charismatic ever politicians, was on his way to a party with his wife, Eli Hagen, when the accident occurred.

Hagen failed to spot Bettina Håberg Badendyck, 24, and David Wagemann, 30, and collided with the couple in the middle of a crosswalk on Halvdan Svartes Gate.

The pair had just finished an early evening meal and were planning to take a stroll in Frognerparken.

“I remember walking out onto the pedestrian crossing. Suddenly I flew into the air before landing on the ground,” Wagemann told newspaper VG.

He recalled seeing Eli and Carl I. Hagen stepping out of the car that had knocked him over. A number of passers-by witnessed the accident, which took place at 6.40pm, and an ambulance was called to take the couple to hospital.

Wagemann said he and his partner were more than half way across the road when they were run over.

Badendyck was badly bruised and remains in hospital, where she is being treated for concussion.  

Since her income stems from a disability pension, she said she hoped Hagen would stump up the cash to enable her to buy a new pair of trousers.

“Because of the pain in my leg, ambulance staff cut open the leg of my trousers. They were my very newest pair. Maybe Hagen should buy me some new ones,” she said.

Carl I. Hagen said he was deeply sorry and wished the couple a speedy recovery. An alcohol test showed he was not under the influence at the time of the accident, but police nevertheless confiscated his licence on the spot due to the serious nature of the accident.

Hagen declined to be interviewed by VG but agreed to answer the newspaper’s questions in writing.

“I strongly regret the accident. As the driver, I experienced the nightmare of seeing a pair of pedestrians in front of the car and not being able to stop,” he wrote.

“It’s hard to say whether it was down to the light conditions or the dark clothing without reflectors, but the couple weren’t visible to me until they were right in front of the car.”

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Have Oslo’s new electric scooter rules reduced accidents?

New rules were brought in to combat the sharp rise in accidents and injuries involving electric scooters in Oslo. But, one month later, have the new regulations done the job?  

Have new rules had an impact on the number of accidents involving scooters in Oslo. Pictured it two e-scooters parked outside a

New rules brought in to cut down on the number of e-scooter accidents in Norway’s capital appear to have had the desired effect as incidents were more halved in September, when the rules were introduced, compared to the month before. 

This is according to figures from Oslo University Hospital’s (OUS) emergency department that have been obtained by newspaper Aftenposten

The Emergency Medical Service in Oslo registered 143 injuries in connection with electric scooters in September. In August, the month before measures were brought in, there were 301 injuries.’

Compared to the peak of accidents in June, where 436 injuries were recorded, incidents are down by almost two-thirds. 

“We are very happy. This is what we hoped for,” Henrik Siverts, chief physician at OUS’s emergency department, told the newspaper Aftenposten

‘We feared it would happen’: Oslo sees first death of electric scooter rider

Among the new stricter rules introduced for rental scooters, which included significantly cutting the number of devices in the city, was a curfew that prevented people from using them between 11pm and 5am. 

Siverts said that the curfew had a dramatic effect in reducing accidents at night. 

“Unsurprisingly, accidents have gone down at night time. What injuries we do get at night are probably people who privately own their scooters. But accidents have also gone down during the day, too,” he explained.  

Just eight injuries were recorded in September at night, compared to just under 100 in August. 

Over the summer, a surge in accidents meant accident and emergency departments in Oslo were forced to have more staff on during weekends. Still, as a result of the reduction in scooter accidents, staffing has now returned to normal. 

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