New Road Traffic Act enters into force on 1 June 2020
The revised Road Traffic Act will enter into force next Monday, 1 June 2020. The new Act includes all the provisions concerning guidance of people’s behaviour in transport. The purpose of the new act is to improve the flow and safety of traffic and create a favourable environment for digitalisation and safe automation of transport.
The Road Traffic Act lays down provisions on the principles of mobility; traffic rules and regulations; traffic control; traffic signs and markings; and safe use of vehicles. The Act introduces provisions on traffic penalty fee. The fee can be used as a sanction for minor traffic offences.
Clear and understandable rules are easy to follow
The guideline in the drafting of the Act was to draw up provisions that are as simple as possible and easy to understand. The aim is to ensure that road users’ actions are as consistent and predictable as possible.
The comprehensibility shows, for example, in the human character illustrations and symbols of the new road signs.The symbols used in the traffic signs are in line with internationally agreed models and forms so that the signs are clear for foreign road users, too.
The Act also aims to protect the vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, and especially the most vulnerable user groups: older people and children.
The new Act places more emphasis on the road users’ responsibility for safety, smooth flow of traffic and the environment.
Act has been prepared in broad-basedcooperation
The new Act is a consistent package that takes into account the Constitution of Finland, EU legislation and international obligations.
The entry into force of the Act will repeal several partly outdated road transport decrees. Provisions on matters that were earlier laid down in decrees are now included in the Road Traffic Act. This approach is in line with the requirements of the Constitution.
The preparations of the Act were carried out under the leadership of the Ministry of Transport and Communications taking into account the needs of different groups. In addition to the various ministries and authorities, involved in the preparations were civic organisations and associations in the transport sector. For example, children and young people played a role in the process through a traffic safety project (in Finnish: Nuorten ääniliikenneturvallisuudelle).
The overall review of the road traffic legislation was launched in 2013. The basis for the reform was a Government resolution on improving road safety issued in December 2016.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications monitors the impacts of the new legislation. People’s knowledge of the Road Traffic Act will be followed in a study of the Transport and Communications Agency.
What are the next steps?
The Road Traffic Actwill enter into force on 1 June 2020.
Information on the reform of the Road Traffic Act is available on the website of the Transport and Communications Agency Traficom atwww.tieliikennelaki2020.fi. In addition, the Finnish Road Safety Council has launched a campaign about traffic rules and regulations, Do you know the Traffic Rules?, (in Finnish: Tunne liikennesäännöt) on television, radio, internet and social media.
In social media, the hashtag for communications on the Road Traffic Act is #tieliikennelaki2020.
Kimmo Kiiski, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 50 539 5346
- “Impulssi” podcast, 21 October 2019: Miten tieliikennelaki vaikuttaa liikenneturvallisuuteen? (in Finnish)
- “Impulssi” podcast, 24 September 2019: Tieliikennelaki uudistuu! Miksi siitä kannattaa innostua? (in Finnish)
- Press release of 9 August 2018: Revisions to Road Traffic Act
- Transport and Communications Agency: Road Traffic Act 2020, information package on amendments (in Finnish)
- Transport and Communications Agency: Mitä uudella tieliikennelailla tavoitellaan? (in Finnish)
- Transport Infrastructure Agency: Traffic signs as of 1 June 2020 (in Finnish)
- National Police Board, 11 May 2020: The new Road Traffic Act turns traffic summary penal fees into administrative fines
- Central Organization for Traffic Safety in Finland: Campaign: Do you know the traffic rules? (in Finnish)
- Päivän pykälä-podcast (in Finnish)
- Transport and Communications Agency: Pyöräilijän liikennesääntöopas (in Finnish)
- Finlex: New Road Traffic Act (729/2018) (in Finnish)
- Finnish Government.fi: Comprehensive reform of the Road Traffic Act (LVM053:00/2013) (in Finnish)