THE Balearic governor general, Ramón Socías, yesterday called an emergency road safety meeting after another youngster lost her life in the Balearics over the weekend and seven people were injured in a spate of accidents across the islands. The Balearic road safety commission was not due to meet until October but yesterday, in an urgent attempt to assess the situation and find fast and effective solutions, Ramón Socías brought the meeting forward to the start of September. The commission, which includes representatives from central and local government as well as the vice-president of the Balearic traffic department, Teresa Sau, meets once a year, but Socías explained yesterday that because of the alarmingly high death toll this year, swift action is going to be taken. He said that a number of initiatives are going to be discussed including drastic measures such as restricting the movements of heavy goods traffic at certain times and in key areas on weekends and even carrying out a revision of vehicles in the Balearics. As of yesterday afternoon, 61 people have been killed on the roads this year while a further three died more than 234 hours after the accident.
Last month alone, 12 lives were lost - double the figure in July last year and on par with the fatality rate of five years ago.
The governor general said yesterday that in six of last month's fatal accidents, the victims were not wearing seat belts and called on drivers and passengers to not only comply with the traffic laws, but also make the most of vehicle safely systems. But, the emphasis appears to be on drivers proceeding with due care and attention.
Eight of July's fatal accidents happened on straight stretches of road. Five of the accidents were caused by the driver being distracted, one was caused by speeding, another while over taking and the final accident by an illegal manoeuvre. What is more, hence why consideration will be given to stepping up vehicle checks, four of the 19 vehicles involved in last month's fatal accidents, were over ten years old. A further four were heavy goods vehicles.
Yesterday, a new speed control campaign was launched by traffic police across the Balearics.
70 speed traps have been set up in Majorca, 11 in Minorca and nine in Ibiza and police are will be using special radar equipment on the roads in and around Palma, Calvia, Manacor, Santa Margalida, Felanitx, Capdepera and Ses Salines around the clock.
So, be careful.
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