ECOLOGICAL watchdog in the Balearics, GOB, is proposing that maximum speed limits on all motorways and dual carriageways in the Balearics be lowered to 100 kilometres per hour. Its move aims to reduce the high accident rate on the Islands, where traffic is currently legally permitted to reach speeds of 120 kph.
GOB declares that the high accident rate claims the lives of both residents and visitors alike.
The problems of so-called accident “black spots” need to be addressed with concrete action, it says, and points out that in 40 percent of cases, accidents were due to excess speed. The conservationist group intends to submit a formal document on the issue to the central government delegation in the Balearics, to the regional government Interior ministry and to the Council of Majorca. GOB is urging the reduction of speed as much on motorways and dual carriageways, as on secondary roads and town suburbs, as many pedestrians are victims of being struck by cars. The ecologists further condemned the “poor state” of many roadways in the Balearics and were convinced that the construction of new motorways will only encourage people to drive even faster. GOB demanded the creation of an action plan to introduce precautionary measures including the construction of roundabouts, the extension of areas which are illuminated by street lighting, the provision of hard shoulders along much-used roadways, the improvement of surfacing, and the use of anti-slip material when laying tarmac. The conservationist group considers that the number of hired cars which are in circulation in the Islands should be reduced. Normally, claim GOB, such cars are driven by foreigners who don't know the current layout of roadways in the Islands. This, therefore, pushes up the risk factor in terms of accident statistics. Finally, GOB opted for the development of public transport through the creation of new routes and higher frequencies of train and bus services.
The group believes that the best policy for highway safety is to encourage private vehicle owners/drivers to use public transport.
It maintains that “some measures that have already been introduced to increase safety on the roads haven't been effective because of lack of vigilance and control” for which GOB is pushing for stricter inspections.