Spanish road deaths fell for fifth consecutive year

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Stiffer penalties imposed traffic violations have reduced death toll by 20 percent in the last year.

MADRID – Road deaths in Spain fell by 20 percent in 2008 compared with the previous year, the fifth consecutive year of decline, the government said Monday, in a sign that the new, stiffer penalties for traffic infractions have boosted safety.

Road accidents claimed the lives of 2,181 people in Spain in 2008 compared to 2,741 in the previous year, the interior ministry said in a statement.

The number of road deaths has fallen by nearly half (46 percent) compared to 2003, the statement added.

Spain introduced a driver's licence penalty points system in July 2006 and stiffened penalties for traffic violations in a bid to crack down on speeding, drink driving and other infringements and slash the number of deaths on its roads at the end of 2007.

[AFP / Expatica]

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