THE environmental watchdog in the Balearics (GOB) urged the regional government yesterday to impose a speed limit of 100 kilometres per hour as being the maximum for any kind of road on the Islands.
In an attempt to address the issue of the soaring death toll on Balearic roads, the conservationists also backed investment in extended public transport services.
GOB proposed a range of measures chiefly concerned with reducing the accident rate. Amongst them, the reduction of the maximum speed limit, whether it be on motorways or on ordinary roads, and a development of more collective forms of transport, which, according to GOB, is very limited on Majorca.
They calculate that most inhabitants in the Balearics don't have the opportunity to leave their cars at home and travel by public transport, as there simply aren't enough alternatives available.
The conservationist organisation affirmed that travelling by coach instead of by car, divides by 7 the risk of having a fatal accident, and in the case of the train, the probability is divided by 20. There is no better safety policy on the roads than for people to leave their cars at hom and travel by public transport a spokesman said.
Other proposals put forward by GOB include the reduction of the number of cars for hire, as they believe that the figure is extremely high, especially in summer.
Drivers of such cars are not familiar with Balearic roads, thus increasing the risk of accident.
The ecologists called for a plan of action to address accident black spots, since a significant percentage of accidents occur repeatedly at specific points on the islands' highways. GOB believe the govrnment should draw up a scheme to improve visibility and safety at these problem points. Investment would be needed to increase safety levels in the form of roundabouts, lighting, hard shoulders, ant-skid tarmac, etc.
Finally, the ecologists proposed an improvement in present road networks, without the construction of more motorways, as these encourage increased traffic speed, and the use of the car instead of public transport. They pointed to the high mortality rate on the highways to the airport, the Ponent and to Inca.
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