According to the National Office of Statistics, between April and June, traffic accidents went down by almost 41% when compared to last year. However, the Chairman of the Road Safety Council, Pierre Vella, was not very happy with this statistic, since these figures were reached during a time when many of our raids were empty because of the pandemic. He appealed for the statistics to include more details about the nature of the accidents.
Despite the fact that the pandemic brought the busy activity of our streets to a halt, between April and June there were still half of the accidents registered when compared to the same period last year.
According to the NSO, there were 2,255 accidents, which means there were 41% less than what was reported in the second quarter of last year. However, the Chairman said that the figures are still worrying.
“Before we start smiling we better analyse the situation. In this period we had less cars on the road, so proportionately you will obviously have less accidents. One needs to look at it analytically. We need to break down the data even more to see where the accidents are coming from.”
Mr Vella said it is not enough to compare the statistics with last year. He added that when he looks at the figures they give rise to a number of questions and if they are answered one can better address the problems we have on our streets.
“Was there a reason for the accident? Is there any way we can improve? Was it negligence on the part of the driver or the authorities? Just by looking at the numbers is not enough because we need to dig deeper to find out why.”
From the statistics it emerges that one-third of the accidents happened in the Northern Grand Harbour region. The amount of people who were injured went down by half compared to last year, with 49 grievously injured – the majority of whom were the drivers. Of these, five died, three of them were motorcyclists and another was a passenger. Mr Vella said that speeding was one of the main reasons behind the accidents, because many abused of the fact that they found empty roads. He appealed for an advanced driving course which can improve the situation.
“If I am past by comfort zone and am accelerating more than I should, do I know what I have to do? Am I capable of controlling my vehicle? This is another factor; from the aspect of advanced driving skills there is no place where one can learn that type of driving on how to react in case one is about to have an accident,” Mr Vella pointed out.
He added that all those who use the roads have a responsibility to reduce the number of accidents including those who are pedestrians, by following traffic regulations.