Convictions for road crimes have grown by 9% in the last year, according to data presented by the State Attorney General's Office on Tuesday. In 2018, 89,264 convictions were issued against drivers, that is, 7,313 more than the previous year. These sentences represent a third of the total sentences handed down in our country. In more than half of the cases, the people who were behind the wheel were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Last year, 14,000 procedures were initiated more than in 2017 for reckless driving, speeding, under the influence of alcohol or drugs or without permission. This increase of about 15% was reflected in almost all road crimes and, in absolute terms, the most notable increase was due to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving without a permit. Four out of five of these procedures ended in sentencing, according to data from the prosecutor.
The road safety coordinating prosecutor, Bartolomé Vargas, has considered the increase in convictions "satisfactory" because, as he said, "it is a sign of greater effectiveness." “We have won in this regard. 90% of the sentences begin to be fulfilled immediately. The police have worked more effectively and the impunity figures have been reduced, ”he said during the presentation of the figures.
Vargas has emphasized that the majority of drivers respect traffic regulations: the data shows that the total number of convictions issued accounts for 0.33% of the drivers census, which accounts for about 27 million people in Spain. “Of every 100 drivers, 91 go at the right speed; out of every 100, two are surprised with alcohol, ”he said.
One in three crimes are against road safety
The crimes against road safety, however, have been representing a third of the total number of crimes in the country for years. In Spanish prisons there are about 5,200 prisoners with a traffic offense. A total of 1,224 of these inmates have a major offense against road safety and the majority are multi-recidivists (they have more than three convictions in the previous five years) for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or for driving without permission.
Vargas has reported that Penitentiary Institutions prepares a study to better understand repeat inmates. The road safety coordinating prosecutor has, however, outlined the profile of those offenders. As he has described, these are “asocial citizens, reluctant to the norms” that use applications that warn of radars (“they are waiting for the radar to run”), with large cars and important technology, and an “absolute ignorance” about the consequences of speed.
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