Oslo police warn public to stay off frozen fjord

After many people ventured onto the icy Oslo Fjord this weekend, police have warned the public against skating and walking on frozen waterways.

Oslo police warn public to stay off frozen fjord
Image: Erin McKenna/Unsplash

The Oslo Fjord ice is unstable in several areas and seven people fell through it into the water during the weekend, broadcaster NRK reported.

“It is ice cold in the water now. If you fall through the ice it is dangerous,” Oslo Police operations leader Christer Martinsen told NRK.

A large number of people are reported to have congregated at the Sørenga, Kadettangen, Kalvøya and Sandvika locations.

All of the persons who fell through the ice are accounted for and no injuries have been reported.

But police have now asked the public to stay off all ice on the inner Oslo Fjord.

In a tweet, Oslo Police ordered the public to “stay off the ice in unsafe areas and outside of marked zones”.

“If you go on the ice now, you must know what you are doing. There have been enough examples over the years of people who have lost their lives this way,” Martinsen told NRK.

“Not everyone has safety equipment or the right knowledge to walk on the ice. Water can bever be completely safe. You would have to verify that you are on safe ground with drilling equipment and the like,” the officer also said.

“We fully understand that it is tempting to go out on the ice, but you must know what you are doing. You have a personal responsibility,” Marinsen said.

READ ALSO: These are the current coronavirus restrictions in the Oslo area

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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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