STAFF REPORTER ROAD deaths in the Balearics are down by nearly a third reported the regional Traffic department yesterday. Director Antonio Femenia confirmed that there had been a 29.7 percent downturn with 26 fatalities so far this year compared to 37 who lost their lives on the roads in 2008.

On Majorca alone, 21 people have died in traffic accidents so far this year, five less than the 26 who were killed in 2008. In Ibiza and Formentera meanwhile, there have been no more than two deaths this year compared to the six who died in 2008.

Separately, those injured in traffic accidents to date this year number 20 (13 on Majorca and 7 on Minorca).
Of the 26 people killed this year, 24 were men. Six of the victims were over 65 years of age. Five who died were foreigners from other European Union member states. Nine of the fatal accidents happened at night. In 10 of the accidents, motorcycles or motorbikes were implicated, and ten of the vehicles involved were more than 10 years old.

Over the last 9 years (2000-2008), 821 people have died on Balearic roads (600 on Majorca, 150 on Ibiza and Formentera, and 71 on Minorca.).
The year 2001 was the one with the highest number of fatalities - 123. Last year was the lowest on record for deaths on the road in the Balearics with 59 people killed (40 on Majorca, 10 in Ibiza and Formentera and 9 on Minorca).