News desk
Photo: Alejandro Sepúlveda
FRANCISCO Ruiz de Peralta, the provincial traffic chief, said yesterday that he had launched a plan to cut the number of road deaths in the Balerics.
Thirty-five people have died on the roads since January 1, a 52 percent increase over last year's figures. This included two deaths on Sunday, one in Soller and one in Muro. Ruiz de Peralta said that there was no logical explanation for this increase in road deaths, adding that 12 of the accidents were caused by the distraction of the driver or sleepiness. Eleven accidents were caused by speeding and three by drink and/or drugs.
Asked if he was in favour of more motorways, he said that figures speak for themselves: the Inca motorway is used by 75'000 vehicles a day and there have been eight deaths in four years; the Manacor road is used by 32'000 vehicles a day but there have been 37 deaths in four years. As to speed limits, he said he thought 120kph on motorways was acceptable. He pointed out that in other countries, such as Germany, there was no limit, but, he added, in Majorca, the motorways are short, 30 kilometres at the most. In recent years, the traffic authorities have been using graphic scenes in television adverts in an effort to cut down the number of accidents. These campaigns, he said, have an impact on sensitive drivers, but not on others. It is a question of road education. Most drivers respect the signs, but a few do not and that is where the problem lies. He was not very optimistic about the future, and said it was essential for people to show respect on the roads, as one way of reducing the number of fatal crashes.

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