1,400 people in prison for crimes against road safety

DGT introduces zero alcohol rate with new Traffic Law. image: guardia civil trafico

THERE are currently around 1,400 people in prison in Spain for crimes against road safety.

The prosecutor for Road Safety, Bartolome Vargas, said during the online cycle ‘Breakfast on wheels’, organised by the National Federation of associations for people with spinal cord injuries and other physical disabilities, that Spain has about 60,000 prisoners. He said that the last thing the Prosecutor’s Office wants for a person who is on trial is for them to go to prison, but that in criminal cases, this can happen.

On the other hand, Vargas refused to say how many people might be sentenced this year for violating the Penal Code on road safety matters.

He stressed that every year ‘very high’ numbers are seen, with around 80,000 convictions, which represents a third of the total convictions issued annually by judges in Spain.

However, the 2020 figure is expected to be lower due to the drastic drop in road travel during the first State of Alarm due to the coronavirus crisis between March and June. There was between 60 and 70 per cent less travel from Monday to Friday, and close to a 90 per cent less on weekends, according to data from the General Traffic Department (DGT).

The Guardia Civil Traffic Unit has reduced the alcohol tests they carry out on drivers to a fifth, mainly because of this drop in mobility, but also because they are now using a different technique.

In the past 10 years, the number of convictions for road safety crimes peaked to 97,359 in 2012, and in 2019 was at 80,480, a similar number as in 2010, according to a report in National Spanish daily 20minutos.es.


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Written by

Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.

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