By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
THE number of lives lost on Balearic roads fell for the fifth consecutive year in 2009.
The local DGT Director General for Traffic reported yesterday that a total of 48 lives were lost, much less than the 72 during the previous year and more than half of the 110 lost in 2005.

DGT sources said that the figures are “very positive”, especially when compared to road death toll figures at the beginning of the last decade when 149 people were killed on the roads in 2001.

However, there was a total of 3'503 accidents and the DGT and traffic police maintain there is still much to be done towards increasing road safety even further because 44 percent of last year's fatal accidents were apparently caused by speeding.

Six percent were alcohol related, eight percent caused by over taking while 30 percent were down to driver distraction.
The introduction of the driving license points system a few years ago has significantly improved the behaviour of many drivers but the police continue to be alarmed about the high number of crashes caused by speeding.

Another area of concern is that in half of the fatal accidents, vehicle victims were not wearing seat belts and motorcyle riders or passengers were not wearing a helmet.

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