Spain to ramp up safety measures on the roads after minister signals ‘alarming’ rise in deaths due to accidents

SPAIN’S Interior MInister Fernando Grande-Marlaska has announced a battery of measures aimed at reducing what he described as an ‘alarming’ rise in road deaths. 

The ministry and the DGT traffic authority will be installing a total of 95 new speed cameras, as well as carrying out an extra 400,000 alcohol tests on motorists, according to the announcement made on Friday. 

“It is vital that we break this rising trend in road deaths,” Marlaska said, also announcing an extra 150 traffic cops for the Guardia Civil. 

In the first quarter of 2024, a total of 261 people lost their lives on the roads, which is a rise of 36 (16%) compared to the same period last year. 

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Interior Minister Fernando Grande Marlaska in a file photo. Cordon Press image

Marlaska called the spike ‘exceptional’ and explained that the annual variation is usually only around 5%. 

Despite this recent rise, the total number of yearly road deaths in Spain has held relatively steady, with 1,132 registered in 2014, and 1,145 in 2024. 

The worst year in that period was 2017, with 1,198, and the best was 2020, the year of the pandemic, with 874.

The DGT has also detected greater death rates from accidents, as well as a rise in drink-driving. 

Perhaps most worrying for the ministry and the traffic authority, however, is the number of drivers who are not using a seatbelt. 

In the first quarter of 2024, 34% of the mortal victims in road accidents in Spain were not wearing their restraints.

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