Traffic authority announces plans to improve safety on hazardous minor roads
The government's traffic authority, the Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT), is to increase safety on the regional road network with new cameras following an increase in deaths and offences on these stretches in 2016.
Thirty people lost their lives on the roads in the province of Malaga last year, a 15 per cent increase on 2015, while other figures confirm that half of the most serious accidents take place on regional roads despite having a much lower traffic density than dual carriageways and motorways.
Drivers and road accident survivors praise new measures
As a result, the interior minister Juan Ignacio Zoido announced on Tuesday that the department will implement 15 measures in an attempt to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities in 2016. This follows the DGT's announcement on Saturday that rumble strips will be painted on the more dangerous ordinary roads, where the majority of road fatalities occur in Spain, with studies suggesting that the measure will reduce head-on collisions by 29% and accidents when exiting them by 67%.
The main additions to road safety will be the use of 60 new speed cameras, 200 surveillance cameras to ensure everyone inside the car is wearing a seatbelt (which also helps to determine whether the vehicle has passed the motor vehicle inspection test known as the ITV), and real speed signs on the most dangerous stretches.
The use of the latter is the most original idea from the department. If one or more of the drivers exceeds the speed limit, the electronic panels will display the number plate of the car together with the message "modere su velocidad" (reduce your speed).
The panels will not be used to give out retrospective punishments for speeding, but will simply serve as a warning. The location of these systems will be indicated to road users, while a list of them will also be made available on the DGT's website.
Although the exact number of cameras and speed signs to be used in the province is unknown, SUR has had access to Invive, a report on speed surveillance published by the DGT with data from 2015, which mentions the 30 most dangerous regional roads in the province. Although the official statistic for accidents in 2016 has yet to be published, SUR's newspaper library shows that at least half of the 30 deaths in Malaga last year occurred on some of these roads. These same roads are also believed to have been listed in last year's report.
The Invive report
These stretches of road, according to the definition given by the department's website, are "the most dangerous" because of the degree to which drivers speed on these roads (which in some cases has been 30km/h over the speed limit), in addition to the accident and death rates on them between 2010-2014.
The DGT also plans to alert drivers to each one of the 300 roads considered to be dangerous in Spain by putting a sign directly under the speed limit indicator.