By Humphrey Carter
THIS year, 102 people have been killed on the Balearics roads and in a fresh attempt to reduce the death toll, hundreds of speed cameras are going to installed to keep an eye on the region's accident black spots.

The Balearic Road Safety Commission met yesterday to discuss what action to take in response to this latest report on Balearic road deaths.
Central governemt's delegate to the Balearics, Ramón Socías, told those present at the meeting that 96 of those killed on the roads this year have been under 30 and that, apart from accident black spots, main roads and the Paseo Maritimo being fitted with speed cameras from the start of next year, tougher penalties are going to introduced.

For example, the new points system, similar to the UK, is going to be enforced which could lead to drivers eventually losing their licence. “This is a, particularly effective way of making drivers obey the traffic laws,” Ramón Socías said. “The threat of losing their licence makes driver much more careful.” Furthermore, driving schools are going to be urged to make it quite clear to students, from day one, what the consequences and penalties are for dangerous driving and breaking traffic laws.

The main causes of accidents this year have been speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances, tiredness and dangerous over taking.

Socias also revealed that one of the latest studies into the 467 road deaths over the past four years has discovered that 200 people died on b-roads, 200 on a-roads and 76 people lost their in urban accidents.

Traffic police are also going to wage a new crackdown on motorcyclists failing to wear crash helmets.
Socías wants to involve the whole of society in this new road safety improvement drive and will also encourage central and local government co-operation in the new road plane which he fully approves of for two key reasons.

Firstly being better roads, with better road side information systems, help improve safety, but also, the local authorities still want to see more people using public transport.

But Socías fears that, until the Balearics has an adequate and safe road network, public transport is never going to enjoy the level of success the government is aiming for.

The Europea Union has drawn up a white paper to reduce road deaths by 50 percent by 2010 and Socio wants the Balearics to reach that target. “We are prepared to do everything we can to stop this bloodshed on the roads,” he said. “But this will not be easy considering there are 950 vehicles per 1.000 inhabitants, plus 30'000 hire cars, here in the Balearics,” he added.

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