Whether it is the worryingly high number of cars in the Balearics, or the majority of drivers are bad ones remains to be established, but according to the Guardia Civil Traffic department's statistics office, last year in the Balearics three out of every 1'000 drivers had their licence suspended, while a further 2'243 drivers were cautioned or had their licences removed. The national average last year was 4'44 drivers per 1'000 people, with the Balearics falling slightly below the national figure. This year Palma City Council has introduced compulsory traffic courses for serious driving offenders and the scheme is proving successful and a number of other municipalities across the Balearics are expected to introduce similar courses in a bid to improve safety on the roads. Balearic roads claimed a total of 1'368 lives in the last decade and the authorities have been trying to reduce the death toll over the past few years via a number of ways, but appear to be failing. The nineties was the worst period in the region's history for road accidents and deaths. The Guardia Civil say that the biggest problem is the poor condition of the roads, some of which are clearly dangerous. But speeding and drinking and driving are also the cause of a large number of fatal accidents. The police started regular weekend alcohol checks in and around Palma two years ago, but the campaign fizzled out and now the Guardia Civil is pushing for more speed traps and control cameras to be fitted along key roads in the Balearics, which would enable the police to invest more manpower in cracking down on drink driving, particularly on the weekends.

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