There are 184 prisoners in Palma's jail who are serving time for road safety offences. Thirteen per cent of all inmates, their number reflects the increasing toughness of the courts in dealing with these offences.
In the vast majority of cases, these were repeat offenders who, after accumulating sentences that entailed fines and card withdrawals, continued to commit crimes. As well as the 184, the latest report from the Balearic Prosecutor's Office shows that in 2020 another 446 people were given community sentences and 33 were sent on "psychoeducational" courses in road safety.
The most frequent crime that results in imprisonment is driving without a licence or with the licence having been withdrawn due to a previous conviction. There are 89 inmates for this reason. There are 33 for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and 13 for having refused to take a test. One prisoner was guilty of reckless homicide and another was jailed for driving over the speed limit.
The vast majority of traffic offences end in convictions through quick trials with little instruction. There were some 2,800 in the Balearics last year compared to 800 cases which were dealt with by courts of instruction.
The report points to there having been 1,705 traffic accidents in 2020, in which 1,244 people suffered mild to serious injuries and 26 people were killed; there were 1,109 who were slightly injured.
In 2020, there were a dozen investigations of reckless homicide linked to traffic accidents. Seven were archived either because the person responsible had been killed in the accident or because there was a lack of evidence. Last year, the number of deaths due to road accidents was the second lowest this century.