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Fewer Road Deaths


Spain seems to be an accident happy country; Heaven knows, why.

Whenever there is the end of a holiday period or of a long weekend, or of a puente, the Spanish media reports on the death toll of the period just concluded. I do not keep statistics but to my subjective understanding there seems to be an alarmingly higher incidence of fatal road accidents in this country than, let’s say, in the UK, France, Germany or Italy, as far as I can tell.

The good news is, though, that now there appears to be a decline in those fatal numbers over the last year or eighteen months, a new trend perhaps.

Certainly this seems to be the case in Mallorca. Although Juan Luis Sanchez, spokesperson for Palma’s Policía Municipal, recently claimed that this Navidad just gone has been one of the most accident-prone Christmas periods in recent years, at least within the vicinity of the island capital, the overall number of road deaths in the Balearics has gone down quite remarkably in 2008.

Whilst in 2007 there was a total of 104 fatal victims of road accidents in the Balearic Islands, in 2008 this figure had gone down to 74 deaths, a decrease of 29 %. The figure for 2007 was more or less in line with the number of previous years. Every year since 2001, between 102 and 118 road fatalities had made it into the headlines.

Bearing in mind that some 900,000 vehicles are matriculated in the Baleares at the moment, the decline in road deaths in 2008 seems to give reason for some hope. Let’s hope for a continuation of this positive trend during the year 2009. Mind you, during the first 20 days of this new year, two people have lost their lives already, in road accidents in Mallorca.

The photo was chosen from my archive. It was taken between Llucmajor and Campos del Port, Mallorca, Spain. The date: July 14th, 2008. The time was 16:09:24.

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