Traffic deaths drop in Spain

Spain MapMadrid - The death toll of traffic accidents has fallen to the lowest level in 44 years in Spain, Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said Monday.

In 2008, at total of 2,181 people were killed in traffic accidents, 20 per cent down from the previous year.

The death toll has gone down despite the number of cars on the streets and roads increasing from 1 million to 30 million since 1964.

The government attributes the improvement to measures such as a penalty point system for driving licences and tougher penalties for speeding or drunken driving, which can be penalized with up to five years in prison.

High oil prices and the ongoing economic crisis have also made people drive less in Spain, which has been among the European Union countries with the most traffic accidents. (dpa)