With more than fifteen million journeys expected over the forthcoming Easter Week holidays, Spain´s General Traffic Department (DGT) has implemented a series of measures designed to avoid congestion, and improve road safety. Over the same period last year, 103 people lost their lives in 84 fatal accidents, four more than in 2003.
300 police cars equipped with radar will patrol main roads and motorways, 800 cameras will monitor black spots, 1,600 message panels will remind drivers of some of the basics of safe motoring, and a total of 8,000 police officers, and 400 civil servants and techicians, will be deployed in the operation. The poster and television campaign, under the slogan "We can´t drive for you," aims to be less pedantic than previous campaigns. A public information line (Tel: 902 123 505) has been opened, and full details of the campaign are available on-line (www.dgt.es).
A recent Mapfre survey reveals that 33% of the Spanish population are scared of driving. The condition, known as maxophobia, manifests itself in high anxiety levels before and after driving, and is twice as prevalent among women than men. Poor weather conditions, driving at night, and with children on board can all exacerbate the condition.