5 January 2004
MADRID – Fining motorists for traffic violations may cut the number of deaths and injuries on the roads by up to 30 percent, a study claimed Monday.
The latest edition of Trafico magazine, published by the Spanish Traffic department, features the results of a Canadian study which claims fines may be the answer to stop the high number of accidents on the roads.
Over the 12-day Festive period, 152 people lost their lives in road accidents in Spain, which has the worst rate of road fatalities in Europe.
The study makes a numeric evaluation of the effect road fines have on drivers.
It found one casualty is avoided for every 80,000 fines issued; one admittance to hospital for every 1,300 and EUR1000 is saved in social costs, such as damage to property, for every 13 fines.
Child safety campaigns and fines associated with them reduce child mortality by 35-37 percent and non-mortal injuries by 10-35 percent
The report also analyses the effect of traffic police stationed on motorways, which stops motorists breaking the law.
On Spanish motorways, the presence of the Guardia Civil reduced the number of road accidents by 1.5-3 percent of the national total.
Breathalyser tests were also found to be one of the best methods to reduce drink-driving.
In the case of Finland, 1.2 million breathalyser tests are carried out annually, and the incidence of drink-driving is only 0.2%.
When fines were introduced in certain countries in the 1970s to drivers for not wearing their seat belts, it was found that 75-80 percent started to wear belts. In countries where fines were not issued, seat belt use was only observed by 40 percent of drivers.
The article in TRAFICO includes several recommendations for issuing fines to drivers that are both accepted and understood, such as informing the driver and issuing a fine immediately after a traffic violation; that the fine be income-proportional; that the driver be informed of the real danger the violation may cause; that the fine is not considered a fund-raiser by the Government; that the amount of the fine is proportional to the severity of the violation and that the driver accepts it should be issued.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news