Guardia Civil

The first eleven days of August accounted for 52 deaths on Spain’s motorways, this year, ten more than in 2009, a rise of 23.81%. With over 5-million people on the roads, most of them headed for the coast, the statistics are a blow to the DGT who thought that their TV awareness campaign plus extra installations of radar cameras and traffic police cars would see this summer being their lowest on record.

The number of deaths only relates to those mortalities resulting from accidents on Spain’s careteras and not additional victims from urban areas. The Government and DGT have made much of their new laws, points system and ease of ways to pay fines over the last few months, while automobile associations have heavily criticized the DGT’s efforts as being revenue raising exercises rather than focusing on road safety and better training or retraining of drivers.

The statistics are a bit of a blow for the DGT, who have seen a drop in motorway road deaths each month this year, over 2009. However, only two days have been death free in 2010 and the DGT statistical web site is over 18-months out of date in supplying figures for 2009 to be able to check against.

The message from the DGT is still one that Speed kills, however more people are killed in urban environments than on the motorways, although the DGT does not include these figures within their statistics. The DGT have also been criticised because of their refusal to place speed cameras in urban settings because they say that not enough traffic passes certain accident black spots however they continue to place speed cameras in areas which are possibly more for revenue creation rather than slowing down traffic as a safety measure on many Spain’s motorways.

With three more major travel weekends during August still to follow, traffic authorities will be doing their best to try and cut down on the mortality rate during the month with more TV advertising and a higher presence of traffic police on the roads.