By Humphrey Carter
THIS year, more young people have died on the Balearic roads than last year although the total death toll by the end of last month was 102, slightly down on last year's 110 over the same period. The latest facts and figures included in a detailed report by the traffic police, show that 52 of the victims on the roads this year have been aged under 30, that is eleven more than last year, with a significant increase in young road victims in Ibiza. In Majorca, the number of road deaths, up until November 28, has in fact fallen, just as it has in Minorca as well, but the big increase this year has been in Ibiza. Last year 11 people died in fatal car accidents there, just three being aged under 30.
So far this year, the death toll is 28 with 15 of the victims aged under 30. Looking at last year's 12-month total of 118 road deaths, there appears to have been a marked fall in fatal accidents this year, but there is the festive period still to come and in December last year, eight people died in the Balearics. The report is one of the most exhaustive studies to have been presented.
Not only does it reveal that a total of 1'419 lives were lost on the roads between 1994 and 2004, it also highlights the fact that, this year for example, there have been just as many, in fact one more, accidents during the day than at night. Of the 102 fatal victims, 17 have been Europeans, either residents or visitors, and 11 non-European Union immigrants.
Only four hire cars have been involved in fatal accidents this year and, to date, just one cyclist has tragically died on the region's roads.
What is more a third, 34 percent, have involved vehicles over ten years old while nearly three quarters of fatal victims have been male.
The worst months this year have been August and November with 13 road deaths in each month.
Reports this week suggest that the traffic police are preparing for a major festive season crackdown on drinking and driving.
Over the past two weeks, over 750 drivers have been fined for speeding by the Local Police and, starting this weekend, extra spot-checks are going to be set up in and around Palma as part of the annual Christmas war on drunk drivers.


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