A familiar sight: Guardia Civil Trafico police.

12-03-2016J. Bastida

The traffic directorate in the Balearics issued a total of 93,513 fines in the first nine months of the year, a rise of some 8.5%. The most common reason was speeding, which accounted for 57,560 fines - an increase of 16.3%. The number of infractions for other reasons - overtaking, alcohol/drugs, not wearing helmets, not using seat belts, not observing signals, use of mobiles, not having insurance - was down in all instances. However, a separate category, "other infractions" (unspecified), netted an increase of more than 2,000.

Cristina Gago, the head of the Balearic directorate, attributes the increase in speeding fines to the greater number of vehicles on the roads, which themselves are the consequence of economic recovery and more tourists.

The density of traffic on the most used roads in Majorca was up by 6.5%: these roads being the Via Cintura in Palma, the Andratx, Inca and Llucmajor motorways, and the Manacor main road. On eleven kilometres of the Via Cintura, Gago notes, there are eight black spots with at least three accidents "with victims" in a year. There are 48 such black spots in all in Majorca. There are twelve in Ibiza and none in either Minorca or Formentera.

The main causes of accidents are speeding, alcohol, drugs and distractions. So far in 2016 there have been 48 deaths on Balearic roads; 38 of these have been in Majorca. Over the same period last year there were 44 deaths. While there have been more deaths, there have been fewer fatal accidents.

Last year, a total of 49 people lost their lives, but the current numbers need putting into context. There were 110 deaths on Balearic roads in 2005. By 2013 the number was down to 40, so there has been a recent increase.

Gago says that the general reduction in the number of deaths has been due to improvements to the road network and to the introduction of the driving-licence points system in 2006.

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David / Hace over 3 years

So, here's a topic worthy of an ongoing MDB editorial/campaign instead of the usual recycled Brexit stuff (yawn). Yet no editorial today, more recycled opinion on PSOE. My view: driving on the island is without doubt the worst aspect of living here (aside perhaps from the development blighting the place). I've driven all over the world and believe the safety factor here is worse than anywhere else and yes, I am including Italy in that. Speeding and tailgating on the Via Cintura is terrible ( I always go via the Paseo now). Undertaking is rife. It always seems to be people driving Audis and Smart cars (yes, you read that right) that are the worst offenders, as well as what I call the 'no see ums' I.e. Small teenagers with big sunglasses in black Seat Leons with something to prove to compensate for their lack of stature. And in the Summer months we get the perfect storm of idiot locals combined with idiot rental car drivers. It's a jungle out there. I am amazed that the fines are so high...you never see police pulling people over on the VC. By these figures we are talking circa 10% of our population. I can believe the number of infractions but can't figure out how, where and when these people are being caught. Anyway, more enforcement on traffic can only be a good thing. I worry every time I take the baby in my car...

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