8,538 DRIVERS FINED IN THE NEW VAP ZONES IN PAST FIVE MONTHS

PALMA city council declared yesterday that drivers are starting to learn to obey the traffic rules and regulations, but it has meant traffic wardens and police handing out 8.538 fines in the newly created VAP, preferential attention streets in the capital. But the council's bottom line is if it's hurting it's working, as fines in the VAP streets are double the norm. The VAP zones were introduced amidst much controversy and opposition from the city's shopkeepers, in February in an attempt to reduce traffic congestion in the city centre and establish a more fluid flow of traffic through the capital. City councillor Jose Manuel Sierra, presenting the first VAP report yesterday, said that the city's governing body is “very satisfied ” with the results, adding that the number of traffic infringements are now starting to decline as the message, which is a costly one to those fined, is getting through. Traffic is flowing more freely through the capital and the number of fines being slapped on vehicle windscreens in VAP zones has fallen by 72 per cent since February. While there is a lot less double parking, drivers are still parking in unauthorised zones, but Sierra said the combination of a greater police presence on the streets, each VAP zone has a patrol of two officers, and a higher level of awareness amoung the general public, is having a positive affect. Sierra said yesterday that conscientious drivers are now starting to recriminate offenders. Sierra admitted that 8'538 is a hefty number of fines, but he said that the vast majority were handed out during the first two months of the VAP zones' existence, over the past three months, the figures have gradually started to decline along with the number of traffic infringements.

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