Årdal

Safe Community Årdal Norway

Certifying Center: Norwegian Safety Forum Name of community: Årdal municipality Country: Norway
Number of inhabitants: 5650

Program started year: 1997 International Safe Communities Network Membership Designated: 2000
Re-designated: 2010

Årdal is situated in a narrow river valley, which lies at the innermost end of the world’s longest fjord, the Sognefjord. The district is one of the county of Sogn og Fjordane.

Upper Ardal Ardalstangen More information: http://www.ardal.kommune.no

Organization Structure:

The council of Ardal municipality has delegated the coordination of safety promotion and injury prevention work to the "Ardal Think Safety” committee. This committee, is also the “Steering Committee” of Safe community Årdal and have following members:

Mayor (leader)
Chief Executive of Årdal municipality

Leader of the local police office
Leader of Norvegian Poples aid (Ardal)
Representative from the Criminal Care
Representative from Hydro Aluminium plant in Ardal
Representative from LO, Norways largest workers organisation The public healt coordinator in Årdal municipallity

We want all children in Ardal to become familiar with the local police, and their work.

We do visits by the police in the kindergardens, and in in the first grade at scool, with distribution of reflective vests. We also begin in first grade, to learn how to behave as a pedstrian in the traffic.

We also provide bike helmets to the children in fourth grade at school, and we have different courses in traffic safety at this time.

The local police is a very important partner in the prevention of accidents and in crime in Ardal, and they have been involved since the start. The police are very cooperative and has many good ideas that are often used in prevention work. We have seen the value of prevention work in Ardal for years.

Bike helmets Reflective vests

The project “The police comrades” is a more comprehensive approach, in which 15 year olds will participate in a variety of activities.
Control of car speed with lazer, mountain climbing, drugs/alcohol, and general behavior in society. As 15 years olds in Ardal, they already know the policemen, and commuication is very good.

Climbing the mountains Speedcontrol with lazer

Police drug dog Bike day for the youngest

Local businesses and organizations are also involved, both with funds, but they also help with ideas and actions. They also participate in the activities.

Rockslide Opening of a new tunnel

Ardal have high mountains, and narrow valleys, and there is always the risk of rockslides. Much effort and resources are devoted to make this threat less. New tunnels is an important, and very expensive part of this work, nature are constantly changing, and prevention of rock slides is a continuous task in western parts of Norway

The citizens of Ardal are physically very active. We have many opportunities in our community with a variety of hiking trails and lots of other activities for different age groups. We measure some of this activity, by the fact that everyone writes their names in books that is at the end of all of hiking trails. In 2009 we had 63236 signatures in these books, a fantstic result when you know that we have only 5650 inhabitants.

Senior dance From one of the senior senter

Ardal have activity two centers for seniors, and at this senters there is a variety of activities.Senior dance, gymnastics, computer courses, mobile phone courses and more.
The centers is an important social meeting place for many retirees. They control the center themselves with an elected board, and without staff from the municipallity at all. The municipality provides housing, and chiropodist also have offices at the centers.

Everyone participates on activity day at the retirement home. The oldest participant was 105 year

Fire prevention actions are initiated at our schools from first grade and continues throughout the school. The fire department has frequent fire drills for common people, and they ar also visiting elderly people to check fire safety in their homes.

All streets and roads are inspected 3 times per year. On this inspection, we often use a large fire truck. If problems are identified, the owner of the problem are contacted by letter, and always with photodocumentation.

Appletree hanging out in the street Cracked pavement

Ice on the walkway Damaged safety fences

Examples of problems that are uncovered in these inspections are: trees that are hanging out in the street, stumble traps, poor street lighting, holes in the pavement, damage to road signs, damaged safety fences, wild parking, car wrecks, and much more. Many downtown areas is regulated in the 50s, and the roads are narrow. This may be a problem for emergency vehicles. Snow and ice make the situation even more dangerous.

All citizens are encouraged to report incidents, situations and problems to the coordinator. Inspection is carried out, actions are implemented, and feedback is given to the person who reported the matter.
All messages are recorded in the log and this log is used as a report to the council once each year.
The messages coming in is “the fuel” of this work.

For further information contact coordinator: Steinar Draegni

E-mail: sdr@ardal.kommune.no
Address: Ardal commune, pb 40 NO - 6881 Ardal Phone: + 47 57 66 50 00
Norwegian official organization number: 954 679 721 Mail: postmottak@ardal.kommune.no