AS many as 134 drivers a day are reported for traffic offences in the Balearics, it was revealed yesterday by central government representative Miquel Ramis, Colonel Cristóbal Santandreu, head of the Guardia Civil and traffic chief Francisco Ruiz de Peralta. They said that the total number of infractions in the first four months of the year was 16'384, down from 17'762 in the same period last year.
They were speaking at the presentation of a book produced by the Guardia Civil entitled “One Hundred Ways to Remain Safe on the Roads”.
Ramis also said that the number of road accidents in the first four months was 871, which was 44 more than last year, although the death toll remained the same, 24, and the number of injured had fallen from 735 last year to 683 in 2003. Referring to the traffic offences, Ramis said that 3'001 were for speeding, 844 were for failing to wear a helmet; 773 for driving under the influence of alcohol, and 187 for driving without the use of seat belt. Ramis insisted that these figures were “similar to other years.” Principal causes of road accidents, reported Ramis, were lack of concentration, mechanical failure and excess speed.
With regard to accident “black spots” that are scattered over the road map of the Balearics, there are 12 that are particularly dangerous.
All the “black spots”, Ramis explained, are on secondary roads. Those registering highest numbers of accidents are: the section from Palma-Sóller; the roads to Alcudia and Manacor; and the urban motorway Marivent-Andratx Significantly, Ruiz de Peralta pointed out that the Balearics is one of Europe's most densely populated areas in terms of vehicles per inhabitant: 850 cars for every 1'000 people. In some areas, the ratio of vehicles to people is higher than one to one. In Ibiza and Formentera for example, the proportion is one-and-a-half cars for every island inhabitant. He also voiced approval of the planned Manacor motorway as it will better cope with the volume of traffic, easing density and correlative likelihood of accident. Referring to the publication on road safety, the principal aim of which is to raise driver awareness and sense of responsibility, Ramis drew particular attention to a chapter dedicated to conduct on the roads by young people and adolescents.