Stockholm (People's Daily) – Minister of Culture and Trade of Iceland Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir said in a statement that changes may be coming for the rental car industry in Iceland.
The statement came in response to the Ministry of Tourism's efforts to improve education for foreign drivers on Icelandic roads following a tragic 2018 accident in which three British citizens died.
Iceland's unique landscape is a major driver of the tourism industry, but many foreign tourists may not be prepared for the road conditions in Iceland.
The car involved in the deadly accident in Núpsvötn had been driven some 340,00 kilometers and was 12 years old. Now, politicians and members of the tourism industry are reconsidering what regulations should apply to rental cars to prevent accidents.
"We will refer this to a working group within the ministry that has been working to promote increased security for tourists in this country. We will use this terrible incident to improve regulations and possible legislation to ensure further safety in this country," Lilja said.
Hendrik Berndsen, chairman of Hertz in Iceland and chairman of the Tourism Association's Car Rental Committee, also expressed the need for better regulation in the rental car industry.
Berndsen said that the Tourism Association is responsible for 90 percent of Iceland's 24,000 rental cars and called for a limit of 200,000 kilometers for rental cars, and a possible limit of 6-8 years.
"It may not be possible to directly blame the car," he said, "but is very important that there are the latest cars for drivers who come to the country."