Palma.—In 2011, the Guardia Civil logged 24'746 fines on road users who were to a greater or lesser extent breaking the Highway Code. The figure, released in a Traffic department report yesterday, was 17.4 percent more than those registered in 2010 (when there 23'393) .

Much of the data made available by the Guardia Civil up until the end of November this year is worthy of a closer look, particularly as it splits figures on the different offences into sections. An example is the increasing number of people who are caught talking on their mobile whilst driving - up 40.4 percent in 2011 compared to the number of fines imposed for the same offence in 2010.

Fines for drinking and driving increased by 37.7 percent last year - up by 5'479 in comparison with 2010. The sharp rise, said a Traffic department spokesman yesterday is “undoubtedly” due to the regular roadside breath tests made by the Guardia Civil over the past year to raise public awareness about the folly of drinking and driving.

Most of the drivers being caught “over the limit” were penalised by having a number of points withdrawn from their licenses.
On a positive note, the number of fines slapped on drivers for not adequately strapping children into booster seats has fallen by over 40%. Down too were fines registered on those who failed to stop at traffic lights and other give-way signs.

The difference between the number of people caught speeding through radar detection in 2010 and 2011 was not so noticeable - an upturn of 2.32% last year. Much more worrying was the amount of fines handed out to those who were caught not wearing a seatbelt - 35.3% more in 2011 than in 2010.