Measures to improve life safety on roads
The Spanish Interior Ministry have introduced a new seven-point action plan across Spain which they hope will help significantly in the reduction of the number of casualties on roads. To this end 7.2 million euros of funding was set aside in order to implement this plan and was announced at recent 20th anniversary celebrations of the Guardia Civil Traffic school in the mainland.
The minister has praised the work done by the Guardia Civil Traffic Police who he stated provide dedication to road safety policies of the Government through the DGT. Having taken into account road fatalities and fatal incidents so far this year, this was fundamental in this implantation. There will be three specific areas targeted, these being conventional roads, motorcycles and vans.
The vast amount of people who lost their lives were on conventional roads in head on collisions with motorbikes, deaths have also increased and this measure is aimed at achieving better behaviour from bikers, and one hopes this too will include cyclists, and improving the coexistence of other road users. With regard to vans there has also been a substantial increase in fatal incidents and this too needs to be addressed.
The seven-point plan is as
1 The installations of Rumble Strips.
A lot of motorways and some conventional roads already have these but a further 3000 kilometre of roads will have had them installed on both the hard shoulders and central lane markings to assist in the avoidance of said vehicle colliding, often head on, with those travelling in the opposite direction. There are many blackspots in Spain and indeed in the Canary Islands too. Of late there has been a substantial increase in fatal road traffic accidents here in Tenerife.
2 Limiting of overtaking on certain conventional roads
As we are all most probably aware overtaking is one of the most dangerous manoeuvres that are carried out on an open road, certainly in Tenerife there are many of those that come to mind instantly. This will be restricted in more areas. This will be done by the widening of the solid white lines (where possible) and new marked solid white lines again where possible. It has been estimated that will make a reduction in the amount of deaths on the roads due to this type of driving. The numbers are sadly increasing of those who die in these types of accidents
3 Treatment of dangerous intersections
Junctions, especially some here in Tenerife, are some of the most dangerous of areas on a road network. Of course, they are necessary as vehicles cross and interact with vehicle that are already moving, which is always a risk, perhaps more so in tourist areas or resorts as strangers to the area are not familiar with the road layouts. How many times have we, as residents been behind, at the side of or even in front of a hire car, more often than not clearly marked as such and seen quite absurd driving and lane changes etc! Part of this plan is to install warning signs on the approach to such key junctions, especially where visibility is impaired by other signs, built up junctions or those with bushes or trees. This project is also expected to save approximately 20 lives per year. You will have noted over the last few years some obstructions being removed at hazardous junctions.
4 Pedestrian Crossing Signals
Warning signs illuminated will be installed on pedestrian crossings making drivers easily aware of them. They will be the standard type with orange warning lights. There are many of these being currently installed in the municipality of Arona.
5 Monitoring and control of excesses of speed at night and of delivery vans
The idea behind this is to continue with the current campaigns on a monthly basis and to increase this at night and on routes frequented by such vehicles. This will see these drivers being stopped and their occupants identified whilst also testing the driver for alcohol and/or drug use, correct documentation including current ITV and of course valid, and paid for insurance with a receipt to prove this.
6 Monitoring of speed and safe distance between vehicles on Motorways
In addition to travelling at excess speeds, maintaining a safe distance will be focused upon, not only by roadside patrols but helicopters will also be used for this, as will information notices warning of safe distances. These signs are numerous in the UK. The number of people killed year on year, due to another driver being too close, is sadly ever increasing.
The final point is that motorcycles will be given more attention by both the police at road side checks and at the ITV stations to ensure the insurance and other documents are in order. Police will of course be monitoring the speed of bikes and those involved in dangerous manoeuvres, which so often result in accidents often fatal or life changing.