Speeding is still the biggest killer on the roads in the Balearics causing 43 per cent of last year's fatal traffic accidents. Last year a total of 148 people lost their lives on the region's roads, six more than in 2000 and as far as the regional traffic police are concerned, any increase, however large or small, is bad news. The vast majority of fatal accidents happened in Majorca, of the 148 lives tragically lost, 121 were in Majorca. 20 people died in Ibiza/Formentera and seven in Minorca, where the Insular Council last year embarked on an ambitious road improvement programme. The death toll amongst the under 25 age group did however fall last year. 41 young people died as opposed to the 58 lives lost in 2000. The five main causes of fatal accidents in the Balearics are speeding, which accounted for 43 per cent of last year's fatalities, 16 per cent involved drivers under the influence of either drugs or alcohol and 18 per cent were caused by tiredness or distractions. 22 per cent of accidents were caused by drivers breaking traffic laws, six per cent by dangerous over-taking and 12 per cent were down to pedestrians not being respected. 2000 claimed the lives of ten cyclists and 36 foreigners; 19 hire cars were involved in fatal crashes. One of the most worrying statistics is that less than half of the victims were wearing either a seatbelt or a crash helmet and the traffic police are planning to seriously deal with drivers and passengers failing to buckle up. The three most tragic months of the year were June, July and February during which 17, 16 and 16 lives were lost.

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