The latest figures released by the Attorney General this month show that in 2015 there were a total of 83,283 convictions for road traffic offences in Spain, 34% of all sentences handed down by the courts.
Of the 83,000 plus convictions, 57,313 entailed the deprivation of driving rights, most of which were with the agreement of the offender. In addition 2,352 sentences resulted in the loss of validity of the driving licence, 50,000 were fines and 31,634 community service orders were issued.
During 2015, there were fewer breath tests carried out by the Guardia Civil traffic officers, with 5,741,000 tests last year, compared to 6,300,000 in 2014. There were a total of 80,388 disciplinary proceedings for alcohol related offences, compared to 94,638 in 2014.
The number of reported drug detection and controls increased exponentially, from nearly 9,500 administrative files opened in 2014, to 26,000 in 2015. There was also a “dramatic increase” in the number drug tests conducted in 2015, more than 76,000, compared to 29,463 in 2014.
Generally speaking, the prosecution notes that compared to 2014 there has been a general downward trend in the number of criminal proceedings initiated, indictments and convictions for crimes against road safety. The decrease has been attributed, among other circumstances, to “the effectiveness of the criminal response to this type of crime” as well as an increased awareness amongst drivers.
The Attorney General’s Office also contends that the effective implementation of the law is “not the only prerequisite to reduce incidents”, thus the prosecution proposes the designation of a legal status of pedestrians and cyclists “for harmonious coexistence in the city” , improving the state of the roads, signage, lighting, reducing speed limits and vehicle status, and it clarifies that the aging fleet because of the economic crisis translates into “inequality before the safety of those who have no resources to pay for improvements”.
The report also stresses the need for road safety education is now more important than ever, the only safe strategy to reduce tragedies, almost all those which are preventable, occurring on public roads.