The Minister for Transport, Magdalena Álvarez, announced in an interview with Cadena Ser that she had requested a report to analyse the number of traffic accidents during the Easter period. Over 100 people were killed in road accidents during the Easter weekend, a higher figure than last year and a blow for the Socialist government’s new penalty points licence system introduced last year as a way of reducing driving accidents.
Talking about the number of accidents on the roads over Easter she recognised that many roads were in a bad state. However, she said that the government had doubled investment in road maintenance and had reinforced safety measures on the roads.
She said that they had set up an important programme of improvement in which motorways were being improved using the latest technology with the objective of ensuring the highest safety standards.
With regards to speed limits she said that this was not in her jurisdiction.
She said that it was up to the experts to study what measures were necessary and that it was the governments responsibility to improve the state of the roads and in this way help reduce the number of accidents.
The Minister also mentioned expansion of high-speed rail connections which the government hopes will serve to reduce the number of vehicles on Spanish roads. She said that a new high-speed AVE link to Tarragona will be in place by May 7th this year. By 2007 a third of the Spanish population will be linked directly by this high speed train service.