Low holiday road death toll as point system takes effect

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The number of deaths registered on Spain's highways over the Easter vacation was 63, a 39-percent drop from last year's figures

26 March 2008

MADRID - The number of deaths registered on Spain's highways over the Easter vacation was 63, a 39-percent drop from last year's figures, despite the fact that 700,000 more people travelled on the roads this year.

The decrease in deaths on the road was observed throughout all of Spain. In the Basque Country and Navarre there were no fatal accidents.

In a press conference, Interior Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba noted that for the first time in history, what has been traditionally a tragic week on the country's roads and highways was essentially the same as any other in terms of accidents, despite the fact that 15 million people were in their cars.

According to Rubalcaba, the fact that there were less deaths despite the congestion on the country's highways can be accredited to "the efficiency of the measures put in place by the government," such as a new points system for drivers' licences and the introduction of jail time for some offences, as well as "more responsible driving."

[Copyright El Pais 2008]

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