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Extra Measures to Crack Down on Habitual Offenders

The Director General of the DGT, Gregorio Serrano, has announced an urgent review to further increase measure made available to clamp down on habitual drink and drug drivers.

The announcement came just before a third cyclist died in hospital from injuries sustained when a drunk and drugged driver ploughed into a group of cyclists at the weekend, killing two at the scene, and rendering three more hospitalised with serious injuries.

The driver had her licence withdrawn four years ago after testing positive for blood alcohol and failed to take the mandatory course required to revalidate the licence. Immediately prior to this incident, the driver managed to avoid three alcohol checkpoints, highlighting the importance of not sharing such information through social media, as any one of those patrols would have prevented the tragedy had they been able to stop her.

Serrano has called for an “urgent” meeting on Tuesday 16 May with the Road Safety Committee (Comité de Seguridad Vial) which will address “the growing problem of fatal accidents of the cyclist” and will detail the measures the DGT would like to implement.

Serrano has said that reforming the Penal Code is not within the competence of the DGT, but they can ensure that the tools to act against offenders are made available.

“We are seeing that the number of cyclists that die every weekend on our roads is unbearable, and we are not prepared for anyone to be in fear of not returning home alive”, Serrano said, explaining how the Strategic Plan for Bicycles has already begun to be drawn up and that the working group has been convened to prepare it.

Investment in cycle routes and their expansion must continue, he said, and constant maintenance and repair is crucial.

That said, the individual responsibility of all road users must be accepted, including cyclists, who must not only play their part by ensuring compliance with the rules and laws of the roads but also in maintaining visibility and offering mutual respect that they demand from other road users.

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