Is traffic police monitoring of the highways one of the fundamental ways of reducing fatal traffic accidents? The Civil Guard's monitoring of observance of the road traffic rules has avoided 510 fatalities between 2006 and 2015. This is shown by the study “How monitoring observance of the rules of the road contributes to road safety” carried out by Fundación MAPFRE, in collaboration with Seville University and the Civil Guard Traffic Division.
The goal of this study is to demonstrate the impact that monitoring of observance of the highway code has on road safety and on the reduction in fatal accidents on the Spanish highways. The main conclusion drawn is that checks by the traffic police lead to a lower accident rate on our highways. In fact, a 5.3% reduction in victims in a year is projected, even with 10% of the personnel being absent.
In order to arrive at these conclusions, an econometric analysis was made during the years 2006-2015, with the main variables affecting traffic fatalities being taken into account, and, in particular, those related to the specific and generalised monitoring carried out by the Civil Guard Traffic Division.
Among the results of the study, what should be especially highlighted is the fact that a significant reduction would occur if radar speed checks by the Civil Guard Traffic Division were increased by 10%. Specifically, there would be a 4% decrease in the number of fatalities. In fact, it is more effective than increasing alcohol and drug checks. If these checks were increased by 10% there would be a 1.4% decrease in fatalities.
In the same vein, the study highlights that if monitoring activities were increased in the future, up to the average levels during 2005-2015, in the next 5 years 596 road deaths would be avoided thanks to the work of the Traffic Division.
Of course, in order to achieve the ‘Goal Zero’ of number of fatalities we need to include other measures such as substantially improving our highways, better driver awareness, and to improve vehicle safety, among other factors.