The annual summer migration of Finns from cities and towns to their summer cottages for the Midsummer holiday has begun.
Thursday is the busiest outbound travel day of the week, with the peak times between 12:00 noon and 19:00 this evening – later, in the north. There are also busy times on Midsummer Eve on Friday, especially in the morning.
Traffic Management Finland advises people to plan their travel routes carefully and watch out for changing speed restrictions in particular.
“For Midsummer trips it is worth leaving during off-peak hours, as in our previous years the driving speeds on our highways have dropped in some places between 20 and 30 kilometres per hour lower than usual” during the busiest times of the day, says Jani Laiho from the Road Traffic Centre.
Speed reductions are most likely on highway 9 between Tampere and Orivesi; on highway 5 between Lusi and Mikkeli; and on highway 4 between Helsinki and Lusi.
Police monitoring activities
Police are monitoring Midsummer traffic with speed cameras and patrol cars with the main focus on driving speeds, overtaking and driving distances. There’s also enhanced monitoring of drunk driving in particular for people coming back from Juhannus weekend Sunday 08:00 until Monday at 20:00.
“Under the new Road Traffic Act, the police can also suspend travel in situations where intoxication clearly affects the driver’s ability to drive, even if the drink-driving limit is not exceeded” says Inspector Heikki Ihalainen from the National Police Board.
This year there are new speed limits for some vehicles with light trailers able to drive a maximum of 100km/h; while vans and motorhomes up to 3,500kg can drive a maximum of 120km/h where speed limits allow.