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With still a long way to go on the road to zero, fatalities on the roads of Spain declined in the first six months of the year, with 11 fewer deaths than 2014.

Tragically, 496 people still lost their lives in the first semester, after an increase last year bucked the trend of thirteen consecutive years of decline.

The Director General of the DGT, María Seguí, said this week, “We are at historic lows and now we have to be extremely vigilant. These results place us among the best countries in the world”.

Specifically, this year began with two consecutive months of rising deaths on Spanish roads, increasing by 44% in January and 14.5% in February, according to provisional figures provided by the DGT, which accounts for the deaths recorded in the 24 hours after an incident on the intercity roads throughout the country, except Catalonia and the Basque Country. In the first quarter of the year, the death toll showed an increase for the first time since 2002, although in March we saw a decline with 80 deaths, compared to 90 in 2014.

The average age of cars involved in fatal incidents in 2015 is 13.6 years, whereas in 2014 the average age was 12.3 years. The age of a vehicle is statistically linked to the risk of death as studies show that the risk of death in passenger cars aged between 10 to 14 years old is 1.6 times higher than those of less than four years; and 2.2 times higher in those aged 15 to 19 years.

Spain currently has a rate of 36 deaths per million inhabitants, one of the lowest in the world, but still not low enough.

In an attempt to slow vehicles down, from Thursday, the DGT will publish 1,500 locations of mobile radars on the roads, in the hope that the awareness of such speed checking devices will encourage drivers to slow down.

Shortly, the laws will change giving more attention to the most vulnerable road users and general maximum speed limits on some roads will reduce as a result. Slowing vehicles down and focussing on the two other main factors in road traffic incidents, alcohol and drugs and distractions, should go further to the road to zero and make the roads safer for all.

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