Figures presented today by Bartolomé Vargas, the national Government’s Fiscal Coordinador de Seguridad Vial (Road Safety Public Prosecution Coordinator) show that there were almost 5,000 sanctions imposed in the Canaries for road traffic offences last year. The data will no doubt come as a surprise to those who seem either to think there is no policing of Tenerife’s roads or if there are police, they do nothing.
The sanctions, 4,800 of them, are up 10% from 2017, and include monetary fines, community service, training schemes, and imprisonment, and the figures place the Canaries in sixth place nationally for punishment of driving offences. The top five sanctioning Regional Authorities are, in this order, Catalonia, Andalusia, Valencia, Madrid and Galicia.
The majority of offences sanctioned – by some distance and increasing year on year – are alcohol or drugs related, with a fair proportion of driving without a licence (whether banned or never taken the test). Speeding offences generally tend to be discovered and sanctioned technologically, thanks to the wide and increasing range of traffic cameras which some clearly think do not exist! And of course during traffic campaigns, including today’s “summer vacation displacement operation”, the police use helicopters and drones to spot traffic offenders.
Police are clearly irked by the general impression that the problem is a policing one, rather than a driving one, and today’s figures show that despite what many think, the problems here on our roads are the result of poor driving, not the result of lack of policing or cameras, nor of failure of enforcement. The responsibility is ours. We must own it.